Thursday, August 28, 2014

Returns on Visit

   As mentioned in an earlier blog post ("The Cultural Classroom"), it is no secret that I geek out over numbers and statistics.  This being said, my favorite time of my shifts at Loft come on the hour when the manager on duty's voice comes over my headset and announces, "okay, team! It's time for our one o'clock read," or whatever the hour may be.  This read includes net sales, conversion rate, numbers of transactions, returns on visit (or ROV), and more numerical reports.  Next, the manager will state where we need to be at the next hour, if we're behind or ahead, and encouragement on what we should be doing to help reach our next goal, now 58 minutes away. 

   Today my emphasis will be on returns on visit.  The ROV is simply a calculation that averages how much our company is getting based on each person that walks through our door, leaving with a purchase or not.  However, the ROV I want to discuss is only an inspiration of this calculation, not the actual number. 

   Over the past few weeks, with the various promotions, I have tuned in to how these promotions are benefitting our clients while even more so benefitting us.  I'm not talking about a monetary return but a physical return of a single customer. 

   What can we do as a company to transform a first time customer into a dedicated client?  Of course the experience is crucial.  It is important to client service, fulfilling our customer's every need, whether that may be styling, helping find a size, or giving them an honest and genuine opinion.  These factors of customer service helps put the client at ease, feel welcome, and trust the brand.  These are the simply building blocks of creating a return client. 

   But there must be more than just personal interaction to do this, a more calculated numerical way--and there is.  As I mentioned these recent promotions have helped open my eyes to the purpose of them.  Not only is the purpose to generate sales and create an illusion of discounts with markdowns as I discussed in the same earlier blog post ("The Cultural Classroom"), but the purpose also is to create recurring visits from a client. 

   These specific promotions are Friends and Family and Cash Cards.  Friends and Family is a designated time period where the entire store is 40% off.  Although Loft carries sales not too different from this year round, there is never a known end date. Even the managers usually don't find out what the promotion is or if it is going to be continued until opening the store the next morning.   Giving a specified range of dates allows the customer to stop I'm, browse, perhaps make an impulse buy based on fear of the item selling out during the sale, and coming back later that weekend with known confidence that the promotion will still be going on.  This helps make this customer become a more dedicated one. 

   Cash Cards even further dedicate our customers.  Loft Cash Cards, which began about a week ago, is a promotion we hold about once a season or a few times a year.  When shopping and purchasing $50 worth of merchandise for a designated range of dates, usually two to three weeks, the customer receives a $25 Cash Card in return to use at a later date.  The customer receives 1 Cash Card for each $50 spent, so either by making a large purchase, multiple purchases, or both while Loft is distributing Cash Cards, the client can easily build up a collection of savings.  This also helps influence add-on to a purchase.  "You're only $5 away from your second Cash Card!  Do you want to look at sale or jewelry to bump you up to a second Card?"  

   The main aspect of transitioning this said customer into a return client is when the date rolls around for her to redeem her $25 Cash Card.  This takes place after the two to three weeks that we are distributing the Cash Cards, and around this time period customers flood in for their savings. 

   These simple tactics are ones that benefit both our customer and our company.  By these first few initial visits, it is not difficult to turn this client into a regular--and even better, and advocate of our brand. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Moving Back to Campus

No one ever looks forward to moving. A new place to live, yes, but the act of picking up every single thing you own and moving it to a different place isn’t fun. Moving makes a person realize just how much crap they have collected since the last year. I know personally I find receipts months old, too many half used lipsticks to count and endless clothing tags carelessly ripped off of new clothes. While there is no better feeling than being in a new space with a fresh new start, it can be a little overwhelming until everything has been put in its place. Personally, I'm looking forward to the familiarity of Philadelphia with restaurants I know are good and friendly faces on every street.

This Friday I am moving not only out of my apartment in NYC, but also my subletted apartment in Philly. I am consolidating two apartments worth of stuff into one, which will prove to be extremely interesting. Of course, I haven’t started packing at all yet. Moving also comes with the stress of renting U-Haul trucks and coordinating schedules. Luckily my parents have been extremely flexible with me and are handling a lot of the details of the move. It’s just my job to get everything organized and ready to throw into the truck. Since I was only in New York for three months I packed pretty light for my summer in the city, which I am grateful for. Moving out of my Philly apartment will be more of a challenge since I haven’t been there in three months and have no idea what to expect.

I have to say, as excited as I am to be back on campus, I’m not looking forward to going back to commuting for the last few weeks of my internship in New York. Granted it isn’t for a very long amount of time, but I will miss the ease of living in the city I work in. I’m looking forward to beginning my senior year and going back to the life of a student in a city I already know and love.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pre-Fall Trunk Show

Nicole Miller at the Bellevue is excited to host a pre-fall trunk show this weekend, August 22nd - 24th.  We will be featuring future styles from the fall and resort lines.  The Nicole Miller fall campaign reveals the "#nmwarrior", a strong, independent woman who shows off her fearless fashion sense and projects the phrase, "You don't have to wear a suit to feel strong".  As we take a look at the sharp styles that are lining up on our racks we start to see some metallics and rocker inspired looks  for fall.  For resort, bright accents and bold prints are the only way to go.  Separates are taking over although Nicole will never disappoint with her dresses as she continues to stay true to the brand.  Stop in the Bellevue to take a peak at what's to come or make an appointment for an exclusive experience with one of our fashion consultants!

Some inspiration for the fall line!

A few of our favorite looks from resort!

Call 215-546-5007 for your trunk show appointment!

Visit our social media sites to check out the #NMWarrior campaign!

You Learn Something New Every Day

After five months interning at Michael Kors I have to say I know my way around the block. Generally speaking, I am familiar with almost everyone on the team, can handle my daily tasks with ease and have no problem when it comes to helping with projects. I’ve become extremely comfortable with my internship and know the ins and outs of my day-to-day here as an intern. That was up until yesterday. Yesterday I was asked to complete a task completely new to me. I was to act as the corporate receptionist while the current receptionist went on her lunch break.

The receptionist at Michael Kors Headquarters is the fist person all guests are greeted by. It is her duty to welcome all guests (people coming in for interviews, other companies coming in for meetings, etc.), and connect them to the third party they are meeting with. The receptionist also answers the corporate phone, which rings nearly off the hook constantly. It is her job to transfer calls to the correct person or department.

While an hour at her desk doesn’t seem overly difficult, I was surprised by how stressful her job really was. In one hour at reception I was faced with customers calling to demand refunds on damaged products, while others raving about how much they love the brand. People from all over the world called and requested transfers to departments I wasn’t aware we even had! The most stressful part of working reception? Having multiple people waiting for meetings while the employee they are meeting with is unreachable. There is a strict protocol when it comes to reaching the MK employee. The receptionist is to call their extension no more than ten minutes before the appointment time. If they don’t pick up, she is to email them and the subject must be “______  from ______ is here to see you!” No more, no less. Certain employees like to be texted, not called when their appointment comes in. With thousands of employees at Michael Kors is can be extremely overwhelming.

Today I am filling in for the receptionist again. I’m hoping that after one day I will feel more confident. Her best advice to me was to remember, the receptionist is in charge of the lobby. Stay calm and never forgot that you’re the boss.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The D&M One-Two Punch

The Design and Merchandising program teaches students the building blocks of design, strategic planning, organization and fundamentals of business. The curriculum touches upon multiple facets of creative and business industries, which is one of the reasons why the program is so great. Not every D&M dreams of being a stylist or working with clothing directly. The number of directions that are possible after graduation are endless.

The beauty of our program is that it offers a one-two punch of sorts. We have the opportunity to experience all different areas of creative and business through a wide variety of courses. We are then allowed to go out into the real world for six months and apply of our lessons from school.

Interning during my junior year is the best experience I could have asked for. After being in class for two and a half years I was able to acquire the tools that would allow me to strive at my internship. I had taken a wide variety of courses and my skill set was where it needed to be. After five months of interning I have to say I have learned much more than I ever expected to. Being thrown into such a fast passed industry can be quite a shock to the system. While I do love working in creative services and being involved in the projects the people around me are working on, I know that I don’t necessary love working for such a massive corporation. These types of realizations don’t come from textbooks or quizzes, but experiencing the environment first hand.

Interning, no matter what company you work for, is a hugely rewarding experience. Not only have I learned more about the fashion industry, but I’ve learned so much more about myself and what I want out of a career.

Long Days, Longer Weeks

As I mentioned last week, I have a retail job in addition to my Co-Op. This makes me a full time working girl! I am working seven days a week which make this next month long and tiring. I cannot wait to be back in Philly and just have school on my plate! I do not have a job while in school but with only six months until I graduate, I should get used to working!
Although my jobs are in related fields, they are both completely different. My internship is much more fulfilling to the point where I do not even mind going into the office during the week. However, my retail job is pure hell. I stand for ten plus hours finger spacing and fixing hangers! My back and my feet are not too happy about it. I love helping customers put outfits together but the store I am working for does not have customer service on their priority list at all. I make it a point to help shoppers as much as possible to gain a little human interaction and creativity from such a meaningless job.
One month and I will be back at Drexel! Can't wait!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Final Fall Term

As I approach the completion of my internship at Michael Kors, the reality of the end of my college education is beginning to hit me. Not only has the summer flown by, but that last three years have passed in an instant. I remember being a timid freshman scared to death that I would get lost getting to my first day of classes in Nesbitt.

The last three years have shown me what I am truly capable of. I have learned more about myself than I expected to. Entering senior year makes me feel a mixture of emotions. On one hand, I’m nervous to go back to school after six months without papers and exams. I’m eager to be back on campus surrounded with friends. I’m stressed about getting a job come graduation. All of these thoughts bubble around in my head. I’m anxious and excited and scared to see what the next few months bring.

In addition to taking a full term of classes this fall I am currently applying to internships. After commuting the first three months of Co-op I feel prepared to do it again- only this time, I’ll tone it down to two days a week. I’ve been on a few interviews and am excited to see what will happen. My fall term is looking pretty crazy between an internship in New York, full time classes and working at the Loft. I know it sounds like a lot but I want to prove to myself I’m capable of juggling. After all, life is a complete balancing act. Why not learn how to manage early on?