By Aimee Chanthadavong
With retail vacancy numbers increasing, Girl PR has had the opportunity to take up space along one of Sydney’s premier shopping district, William Street, Paddington.
Girl PR’s new real estate location combined with their public relations contact with fashion e-tailers has given them the advantage to launch of an ‘e-tail boutique’ store that will help online retailers trade in the physical world.
The Girl PR Boutique concept has been established to give e-commerce retailers the opportunity to engage in the bricks and mortar retail space at a low cost expense.
Speaking to RetailBiz, Juliet Potter, Girl PR director and owner of Girl PR Boutique, said this is a cost-effective solution for e-tailers to introduce their website while driving traffic and sales.
“We’re a PR firm and our clients have fashion-related websites. But we thought Google Ad Words can only do so much to help them drive traffic to their site,” she said.
“Since we have taken premises on William Street – which is a great area because we’re surrounded by a lot of other fashion retailers – we created a showroom where we have stylists come in and have a look at the latest products.
With all this setup we’ve had girls knock on our windows to ask if they can come in but we’ve had to tell them it’s not for show. I started thinking what a shame that I have a bunch of products, how can I introduce it to these people.
“I thought if I QR-coded everything in the showroom I could direct these girls to the fashion websites while take a percentage of sales and that’s how the concept was born.”
The Girl PR Boutique will have no cash register, shopping bags or sales assistants but just an in-house stylist. Customers will be able to make purchases directly from their iPhone, iPad, Android or smartphone by scanning the QR-codes that will be attached to the garments. This will take customers directly to the product's e-tail shop for purchase, or the item can be bookmarked for later acquirement.
Potter reaffirmed the store is not a pop-up store but a permanent retail position that allows multiple e-tailers an affordable and permanent shop-front.
“At the end of the day people will always want a tangible experience and a combination of both online and offline. In this respect, this boutique store will give woman that because it means they make an immediate purchase but have the product delivered to them so they won’t have to carry any bags or boxes. Plus a lot of women like online shopping because they love the experience of receiving a box and they can still have that with this,” she said.
“This concept allows you to scan the product and bookmark what you want – a bit like Shazam – and you can go back to it another time, eliminating that impulse purchase.”
Existing participating e-tailers include meandmoo.com.au and Charlie Brown.
"This is a unique marketing and additional sales opportunity allowing us to reach a new consumer with our brand and of course, to promote our website,” Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown CEO, said.
However, Potter said she’s always on the look out for more “cutting edge”, non-mainstream brands to include in the boutique store.
They will also only be stocking products from Australian e-tail stores as a way to support Australian businesses.
“We will just be using Aussie websites because we want to keep the experience of the next day delivery close and if we do roll these out Australia wide it’s really beneficial to Australia retailers.”