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26 The Dressing Room

6-8 High Street, St Albans

Who you need to know

Owner Deryane Tadd (left)

Brands include American Vintage, Butter by Nadia, By Zoe, Current/Elliott, Day Birger et Mikkelsen, Designers Remix, Equipment Shirts, Hudson, J Brand, Lily and Lionel, Paul & Joe Sister, Project D

In 2009, contemporary womenswear retailer The Dressing Room scooped Independent Womenswear Retailer of the Year at the Drapers Awards, and the store has not looked back since.

Owner Deryane Tadd scours the world for the latest must-have collections, from designer denim to specialist short-order brands, ensuring a fresh experience for shoppers every week.

Tadd’s unwavering commitment to customer service sets the store apart from the competition with initiatives such as The Dressing Room to You - a personal shopping service that comes to the customer’s home - in-store ‘Style by Appointment’ sessions, a loyalty card and a Privilege card for top spenders.

Having moved to larger premises in 2006, a year after first opening, Tadd is proud to have achieved all the turnover targets set out in her original business plan. Refusing to be beaten down by the recession, she focused on “the people and the product” by investing in staff training and constantly updating the product mix. Six months after the store move, she opened a shoe lounge within the shop, which has been a big success, with footwear and accessories now accounting for more than a quarter of total sales.

She says: “I don’t treat the store as a small business - I run it as if it were a multiple.” This means monthly training sessions, quarterly reviews, and annual appraisals for all staff, as well as a monthly merchandising analysis detailing things such as sell-through and like-for-like sales figures for each brand.

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