Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blog Post #10

Whoops! Looks like this blog saved as a draft and never got posted! Here is the blog that was meant to be posted for week 10, experimental research!

I've made it no secret on this blog that I spent the summer working at a certain well known retail store. In fact, the specific store I was hired at was called the 'concept store', aka the main headquarter store for the corporate side of the comany. As the concept store, our location was the one to recieve every new collection months ahead of the other stores. For instance, when I was hired in May, we were already dressing the mannequins in down vests and scarves for fall. But being the concept store, we also were the first to try out new trends and to observe how they were percieved by our clients. Then, the corporate side of the company would take these results and see if the new procedures were to be implemented in the stores across the country.

One trend that kept popping up across our store was the new 'partnering' with other companies. Although I worked at a well known clothing company, many other brands were featured in our store as partnerships, and doing surprisingly well. Over the course of the summer, I saw several new brands featured in our store that one might not immediately associate with clothing. Essie became a partner, and released new nail polish colors to coordinate with every season. Bobbi Brown became a partner as well, with lipglosses sold at the register. Cosabellas appeared in the store too, which confused most shoppers. Partnerships were advertised within the fabrics of clothing, from the exclusive house that made the cashmere for the sweaters to the expensive leather of the ballet flats. I often wondered, how did these partnerships come about, and how did the company know if they were being successful or not?

This article I found talks about why it is beneficial for both the wholesale retailer and smaller company to partner up- basically, it creates more publicity and recognition for the smaller company, while promoting sales for the larger company and offering something new to clients. Working in the store, I often wondered how my store had become so successful at finding great partnerships and making them last- the conclusion I came to was experimentation. Partnerships were tested out in my store, and if they worked, were made national or available on specific coasts. If clients weren't responsive, the partnership was nixed and it was back to square one. Looking at the company's website, it's hard to find a shoe, piece of jewelery, or handbag that isn't designed by an outsider...

It's interesting to see experimentation happen on a daily basis in the workplace, whether one is aware of it happening or not. Experimentation happens in many forms, from on a large scale to the smaller experiments.

Talk to you next week!

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