When you think of retail staples you think of food and clothing, right? At QVM we have a very impressive food offer but our clothing offer is questionable and that may be a drag on the performance of the whole market.
There are some clothing categories that we do very well and knitwear, coats, socks, belts and sports shoes all come to mind. But if you were reviewing your total wardrobe, would you come to QVM? Our female fashion range has been accused of being one dimensional (the same offer repeated) and our male offer almost not existent.
And it is not just the variety of offer but also the services that clothing retailers offer these days – try before you buy, comfortable and private changing rooms, fitting services, and no-cost returns. These are all services that make it easier for a customer to commit in the flaky world that is fashion. “Will I look good in that?” “Can I change my mind if it doesn’t look good?” The new breed of retailer – H&M, Uniqlo, Zara - accommodate these questions. Try returning something at QVM without a good excuse.
Of course our dilemma is not unique. Independent fashion retailers are falling like flies out in the wider retail world. The question of offering excellence in service (fitting rooms, alterations, returns) is manageable by forward thinking traders but assembling a group of traders with a variety of attractive offers is a recruiters nightmare.
If you are a QVM clothing trader we would like your input.