Never Forget Your Customers Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Having worked in the fashion industry as a consultant for over 30 years, I've seen many trends come and go. However, there's one persistent problem that has remained in the industry in all this time, and it's that boutique retail shops do not take into account the various shapes and sizes of their customers. The catwalk sells clothing, but it also creates an unrealistic view of the prospective buying customer. Catwalk models are picked based on the minutest of physical measurement. That is not the case with your potential customer!

And so I consult with new fashion businesses and this is the first point I always bring up: sizing. Quite often, after such meetings, the new business owner switches from an idealistic mind to a realistic one - and that's what needs to happen. I show them the success stories of businesses that have tailored their clothing and accessories so that they feel good on their customers - from wide fit shoes to plus size lingerie - sizes must accommodate your customer base!

The fact of the matter is that two out of every three boutique stores will not survive the first 12 months of their existence. Accommodating the customer is the most important rule, and I tell my clients to let their competition make the mistake of thinking the catwalk model represents their "typical" customer. Tailors have existed for hundreds of years for a reason - they know we come in all shapes and sizes.