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Staff switched on by video interviews

In Boudiche’s early days as a one-store indie, myself and my co-owner Fiona McLean did both the buying and the selling. After meeting the designers we had a better understanding of our brands and a greater passion for them, which came across in our dealings with our customers.

Now, with the business having grown, our retail team are our customers’ usual first point of contact. So we decided we had to come up with some creative ways to make them more brand-savvy and engaged.

On our buying trips for autumn 09 I went armed with my digital camera and asked suppliers if I could interview them on video for training purposes. I had mixed responses. Some were cool with it, others pretended they didn’t understand and said they would email some brand training notes through, and one New York agent asked if he had time for hair and make-up.

I got some amazing footage of the designers talking about their brands, and last week I cut the first of our London snippets and presented it as a pilot to our Edinburgh team. They heard from lingerie firm Bendon, the licensee for Elle Macpherson Intimates, about how often she visits its London office, and designer Damaris on where the Mimi Holliday brand name comes from (it’s her porn star name - the name of her first pet followed by her mother’s maiden name).

And in New York, the team from The Lake & Stars and Kiki De Montparnasse gave me some great footage. I’m now putting together another session so our Boudiche team can virtually meet their team. To keep track of my efforts, you can follow me on twitter@clarethommen.

  • Clare Thommen is co-owner of lingerie retailer Boudiche, which has stores in Edinburgh and Glasgow

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