Having worked 12 to 14-hour shifts over the past three weeks, right now I don’t know whether deciding to open a new young fashion department is a good idea. After trialling various labels in the past year and monitoring sell-throughs, we have decided to open up the first floor of our Victorian building as a dedicated younger area.
When I started Sunday Best 38 years ago, the Biba store on Kensington High Street in London was my inspiration. My new department has been influenced and inspired by All Saints, which has wonderful product and a cleverly crafted industrial environment.
We hired the company that created the set for ITV’s The X Factor to work with us on our design, and we have commissioned a talented artist to create fantastic visuals. Studded pillars, cracked mirrors, damp-look walls and trompe l’oeil stonework all feature.
We have sourced a bell from an old factory yard in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, a cradle from India to display bags, and crates from Copenhagen for footwear. The visual concept is on track, our product mix is proven, and the new sales team is brilliant.
This moment-of-madness decision to create the new SB Diversion department means the web team are busy uploading new product for autumn 09, so my popularity has dwindled with them.
We are thinking hard and trying to push ourselves into new territory to capture a younger customer. To get them, we are talking the talk through Facebook and at schools and colleges, but we recognise that wooing young women who normally head to the nearby Trafford Centre or to Manchester city centre will be a challenge.
However, we like a challenge, which is why on August 15, unless there is a hitch, SB Diversion will be born.
- Jan Shutt is founder and owner of womenswear boutique Sunday Best in Rawtenstall, Lancashire