According to Women’s Wear Daily, the latest marketing trend for retailers are “intimate gatherings,” including house parties, luncheons and mini fashion showcases displaying the latest merchandise and new collections from up-and-coming designers. While smaller retailers and lesser-known designers have been using this technique for some time, department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are now utilizing this cost-effective strategy.
Nordstrom designer buyer Margaret Hinojosa de Garza added, ““The customers like to shop during these events…They feel we are doing something for them and they do feel very special as a result.”
The most important result of these “intimate gatherings”: developing stronger relationships with the customers.
“Andy Cohen, a New York-based marketing consultant, said anything a retailer can do to create an emotional bond is a positive. To be effective, it’s critical to attract a target audience in the appropriate number.”
Kimberly Grabel, senior vice president of marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue told WWD that Saks had just conducted research on the customer experience, asking ,”Given the backdrop of the economy, is shopping just not fun?” Grabel said most answered that “…They disagreed and said it is still fun and should still be fun. That is the element of these more intimate parties where you are with friends and having fun and you get to shop — it’s a trifecta of having a good time.”
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