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Blog: Any advice, please?

As a clothing retailer, do you feel that you are expected to be able to advise your customers on the how, why, when and where of dressing?

I’m talking style advice here.Arguably it is an integral part of your customer service, and for some retailers it is becoming a revenue driver with many offering personal shopper services. But do you feel qualified? Certainly plenty of retailers do, and while I cannot comment on the level of expertise that they offer, I can report that it offers a point of differentiation between face-to-face retail and its online counterpart.

I know this because I recently encouraged five colleagues to join me in emailing websites – both brands and retailers – with their fashion and style queries. That’s a total of six queries, and three weeks later we’ve received only one answer. Not from an indie or a brand but from Topshop, whose advisers told a colleague that her wide-foot problem was beyond their remit. In fairness this came after only a couple of days and was honest. It seems like the rest had no intention of responding.

Do you offer advice to your retailers? Do you make that advice formal or informal? Or is it wiser to let most people make their own style decisions? Perhaps you’ve asked for advice from a website – what was your experience?

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