Whether you’re thinking about what to stock or have already been selling retail items, there are plenty of ways to capitalize on making retail an extension of your brand. Cassandra Campa, senior buyer for Equinox and Pure Yoga, shares some of her best tips for turning your retail space into a boutique.
USE FASHION AS YOUR GUIDE
Just as stores like J. Crew and Anthropologie plan for the upcoming season, Campa suggests looking ahead many seasons. “We work out on average about 6 months in advance,” she says. She and her team scour the market through fashion shows, retail shops and online (hello, Instagram!) to see what’s trending now and what might be trending in the future. Right now, she’s seeing prints for summer and earth tones for fall, but some prints that might work for Pure Yoga won’t necessarily work for Equinox. Your boutique should feel like part of your brand, everything from the colors to the cuts and slogans found on graphic tees.
STOCK ESSENTIALS—BUT ONLY THE BEST
Campa sees the boutique at Pure Yoga as serving two purposes. First, a place for people to go when they forget their barre socks. Second, a curated space of the best of the best fitness wear across multiple brands. Campa stocks Pure Yoga with jewelry and water bottles, socks and headbands—but she focuses on honing in on what she believes her members are looking for. “We do carry black leggings, but we look for quality above all else. We’ll carry the best black legging on the market.” She continues, “We look at what’s worked in the past and what people are responding to. That means Lululemon, but there are smaller vendors, too, the ones you can’t get anywhere else.”
MAKING IT FEEL EXCLUSIVE
Pure Yoga boutiques are stocked monthly, which means regularly but carefully. “Sales don’t happen all the time,” Campa says. “We do it to make way for the exciting new merchandise we have coming in. It’s important to have the best product, but also to keep the shop feeling very curated and on brand so you never want to clog up the inventory.” Instead of holding big blowout sales, Campa says she and the studio work together to offer discounts to new members or promotions for those taking a workshop. “We stay aware of what’s happening in the retail world, especially if it’s a heavy promotional period for retailers, like President’s Day. But we don’t have to abide by the same rules because we view ourselves like a specialty boutique.”
TELL A STORY
“I want members to know they can come to the Pure Yoga boutique because we offer something special and different,” Campa says. “The space within Pure East and Pure West is not that big and so it forces me to really curate.” Curating is often thought of as a word associated with museums—so think of it like that.
Create a pattern in the store for how you want your customers to walk through the items for sale. Campa suggests playing with textures, colors, fabrics and different vendors that clients might not find in standard athletic wear. With so many vendors popping up, the space can be overwhelming—Campa says it’s her job to make it easier to navigate.