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YMA FSF BUSINESS CASE STUDY 2017

The Macy’s X Etsy Collaboration

Uplift yma FSF business case study 2017 Promoting women in business through the diverse artisans of the Macy’s and Etsy partnership. by alexis atkins

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YMA FSF BUSINESS CASE STUDY 2017

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PA I R I N G I S CA R I N G

If I were to define the Macy’s and Etsy Collaboration into one word, it would have to

be the word “uplift”. Not only is this verb about “elevating or stimulating someone morally or spiritually”, it’s about helping someone realize their full potential. As a pair, Macy’s and Etsy have created a platform designed to uplift and showcase the growing artisans of Etsy into the Macy’s product assortment with ease.

The best way to make a friend, is to get to know their story. Seth Godin is quoted as

saying, “Marketing is no longer about that stuff that you make, but about what stories you tell.” If Macy’s and Etsy want to sustain long-lasting relationships with their creators, it is imperative that they not only get to know who their artisans are but to make them relatable by sharing their self-made journey to success to their consumers.

M E E T K A R I S SA L I N D SAY

With just a fifty-dollar E-Bay purchase for a sewing

machine and a leap of faith, Karissa Lindsay left her job in education to pursue her true passion: fashion design. In 2013, with fabric in hand and a few sketches, she began developing her dream collection that she had imagined ever since she was a little girl. She would enter her designs into fashion shows and competitions, leading her to ultimately open her very own Etsy shop, A Leap of Style, in the same year.

When I spoke to Lindsay about her long term goals, she

Figure 1. Founder Karissa Lindsay

knew exactly where she envisioned herself to be in the upcoming future (see Appendix A for more on Lindsay’s goals), “Long-term I would love to move more fully into the manufacturing sector. The mission of A Leap of Style is to empower and inspire women through fashion. I know that we can do even more to empower more women through the power of work and a paycheck. I feel passionately about creating jobs in our communities - particularly in the black community, and in the long-term I want to be a part of empowering women in the manufacturing sector.”


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Reflected in the quality of her garments, Lindsay’s strong work ethic and aspirations

uplift young women around her to enter the industry as entrepreneurs. She inspires women with her bold and creative garments that radiate confidence for any woman wearing A Leap of Style.

Lindsay is an asset to the Macy’s and Etsy collaboration bringing unique product

diversity into Macy’s. Her fearless risk-taking, has enabled her to be a trailblazer for women who aspire to become financially independent doing something they love. Lindsay believes that, “If no one in your family or close circle has done it, it can tend to seem unattainable to run a business, and once most people do get started, they're not sure how to maintain the business successfully.”

With her own success at starting her own business, Lindsay provides Macy’s and Etsy

the opportunity to support a successful role model for millennial women as a pioneer for positive and culturally diverse product development opportunities.

SWOT A N A LYS I S

S

• Macy’s can provide Etsy with the ability to mass produce their artisans’ products • Etsy can provide Macy’s with fresh new product • Etsy shoppers will have the opportunity to see and feel the products in person before they make a purchase • Etsy’s artisans will increase product diversity within Macy’s • Macy’s is helping raise awareness of independent artists

W

• •

O

T

Mass Production of the artisan’s work could reduce quality control Many consumers may not be familiar with the premise behind Etsy

• Potential for Macy’s to obtain Macy’s exclusives brands through the partnership • Macy’s has the opportunity to bring the e-shoppers of Etsy into their department stores • Etsy can gain more customers to their site that would have normally gone into a store because the partnership will increase awareness of Etsy • To bring in the younger, millennial clientele into Macy’s • By placing Etsy artists in Macy’s global ad local designers can be introduced to a mass market • Gives Macy’s the opportunity to increase their minority customers though the global artisans • Rapid shifting fashion trends could make the Etsy artisan out of style as the fashion calendar progresses • Other department stores, like Kohl’s, who are already successful with designer collaborations • Potential for other e-commerce sites (Alibaba/Shopify) to create knock-offs of items at a cheaper rate


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END-USE CONSUMER

The ideal target consumer for the Macy’s x Etsy partnership, is a woman aged 21-35 who

has a “go-getter” attitude towards life. She loves traveling, keeping current on pressing news issues, and being social. Our consumer is confident and loves bold color choices. She definitely turns heads when she enters the room. Not only is she independent but she also values self expression in others.

This consumer can be categorized as a striver, a thinker and an experiencer through the

VALS Segmentation analysis. She aspires to not only dream her wildest dreams but to also take the necessary risks to have those concepts come to fruition.

Above all, our consumer values the story behind the purchases she makes. She wants to

know the artist and their inspiration so that she too can become inspired by the world around her.

TA R G E T C O N S U M E R P R O F I L E S THE PEN M ASTER AGE: 32 LOCATI ON: London, England HER OCCUPATI ON: Publishing age n t for Simon and Sc huste r HER GOALS: To write and publish h e r first nov e l FAVORI TE EMOJI :

V

SHE LI STENS TO: Corrine Baile y Ra e , Alina Baraz & Galimatias and Dale y SHE DRI NKS: Vanilla Latte HER VALS SEGMENTATI ON: Ex pe rie nc e r and Striv e r HER HOBBI ES: Tak e trips to Cov e n t Garde ns, going danc ing and journalin g for he r lite rary blog

Aubrielle

Ricci

HER PRI NT STYLE: Lik e s to anc hor h e r prints with a solid c olor lik e white o r blac k within he r outfits


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YMA FSF BUSINESS CASE STUDY 2017 THE ART M USE AGE: 26 LOCATI ON: Washington, DC

HER OCCUPATI ON: Art Curator at th e National M use um of Afric an Ame ric a n History and Culture HER GOALS: To host he r own talk s h o w disc ussing re al world soc ial issue s FAVORI TE EMOJI : D SHE LI STENS TO: J ohn Coltrane , Alabama Shak e s and J ill Sc ott

Evelyn Scott

SHE DRI NKS: Hone y Ginge r M artin i HER VALS SEGMENTATI ON: Thinke r and Striv e r HER HOBBI ES: M use um Hopping, Trav e ling and De bating philosophy the orie s with he r frie nds HER PRI NT STYLE: I sn’t afraid to mix he r prints to mak e a one - of- a- k ind lo o k THE M ILLENNIAL AGE: 22 LOCATI ON: Ne w York , Ne w York HER OCCUPATI ON: Cre ativ e M ark e te r for Wie de n + Ke nne dy HER GOALS: To adv oc ate for wome n to e nte r the adv e rtising industry FAVORI TE EMOJI : v SHE LI STENS TO: Sale s, Grime s an d Kari Faux SHE DRI NKS: Gre e n Smoothie s HER VALS SEGMENTATI ON: Ex pe rie nc e r and Think e r HER HOBBI ES: Nights out on the to wn , Kic k box ing and binge watc hing YouTu b e v ide os

Natalie Cassidy Coleman Reese

HER PRI NT STYLE: Lov e s to go matc hy - matc hy with he r prints for a fre sh and polishe d look


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M A R K E T I N G CA M PA I G N

The rise of social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have inspired the

millennial generation to become the best storytellers. It’s not all about what you have to say but it’s also about how you say it. If you want to engage with a younger demographic, it’s key to employ the art of storytelling as the backbone of the marketing campaign. This marketing campaign is all about sharing Lindsay’s journey of turning her wildest dreams into a reality.

TAG LINE: Although this campaign is about sharing Lindsay’s story, it’s important to reiterate that her designs are inspired by the modern woman with an entrepreneurial spirit. That is why the hash tag driving the campaign is #EmpoweredByYou because the collection thrives off of the ambition of millennial women all around the world. This tag line would be used across all proposed media platforms as a key hash tag for promotion. In 2015, Harvard IOP reported that over 83% of millennials utilize Facebook. For the campaign, Macy’s would post one post per week, three weeks in advance leading up to the debut of the collection in select Macy’s stores. Posting on Macy’s page is paramount to the success of the collaboration so that consumers know where they can find the new product. Creating a geo-filter exclusively for customers when they enter a Macy’s store just for the collaboration is a simple way to reach millennial consumers. In 2015, studies revealed that 42% of the target demographic uses Snapchat. As consumers shop through the store taking selfies, they can snap pictures using the filter. This geo-filter would be available the first week of the collection debut.

Figure 2. Mock Geo-filter for Snapchat


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The reason YouTube has made millennials self-made millionaires is because they created a seamless platform for people to tell stories to viewers in the most intimate place possible: right from home. Developing a branded YouTube channel for A Leap of Style would enable consumers to get to know Lindsay on a personal level. This would be specifically for A Leap of Style but would create easy content for both Macy’s and Etsy to share. This would be a long-term marketing initiative to raise awareness on encouraging women to enter into the business with confidence.

Figure 3. Mock YouTube Page for A Leap of Style

In order to raise brand awareness for both the Macy’s and Etsy partnership as well as for A Leap of Style, both Etsy and Macy’s should make at least one post that announces the collaboration and introduction of A Leap of Style into Macy’s. A Leap of Style, should make at least two posts announcing that the brand is joining the Macy’s and Etsy partnership as a valued artisan starting one month in advance. As well as another post the day the collection launches in Macy’s stores building excitement for the unveiling. Instagram is also a great platform to utilize easy to shop links that can take consumers right to the product assortment online. Twitter is a great source to share the promotion content across a wider demographic. Each brand should make two posts, one post three weeks before the collection release and one the day of the release to encourage consumers to shop the line.


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L AU N C H P L A N

The core demographic is to reach millennial women, the plan is to debut the collection

in 50 stores located in metropolitan areas across the United States. The focus for the collection debut will primarily be in major markets located on the east and west coasts (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta). At the Store Level, A Leap of Style should be positioned next to contemporary sportswear brands that focus on the latest clothing for stylish women (see Appendix B for more details on visual merchandising of the product). LIVE WITH LINDSAY: During the week of the launch, Lindsay would partake in a Facebook Live event on the official Macy’s Facebook page. During this live session, she could share her story, talk about the inspiration behind some of her pieces and interact in real with consumers to answer their questions. This broadcast would allow viewers to fall in love with Lindsay and her journey. A HELPING HAND: In the early stages of starting A Leap of Style, Karissa Lindsay began funding her business utilizing Kickstarter, a crowd-funding website. Lindsay aspires to be able to help and give back to the community by helping young entrepreneurs enter the business industry. As a part of the launch plan, 5% of each month’s

Figure 4. Lindsay wearing A Leap of Style

sales for the six months, will be deposited into a Kickstarter account to assist young women with innovating business ideas that need help making their ideas come to life. RISE AND UPLIFT: Lindsay’s passion for assisting young entrepreneurs was evident during my interview with her about her career goals. During the launch week, Lindsay would host a breakfast for inspiring female entrepreneurs, entitled “Rise and Uplift”. The breakfast would occur in 3 cities: New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. The purpose of Rise and Uplift is to give millennial business women an opportunity to seek advice from Lindsay, as someone who has built her own success from the ground up.


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YMA FSF BUSINESS CASE STUDY 2017

AS S O R T M E N T P L A N FO R S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 7 Style/Description Dresses

Skirts

A. Short Sleeve Flared Dress B. Long Sleeve Flare Dress C. Halter Maxi Dress D. Halter Flare Dress A. Midi Skirt B. Maxi Skirt

Color Price Available 3 $148.00

A

B

C

Total

18

12

6

600

1

$134.00

18

12

6

600

1 1 1 2

$200.00 $250.00 $130.00 $140.00

18 18 18 18

12 12 12 12

6 6 6 6

600 600 600 600

C. Flared Skirt 1 $110.00 16 12 0 480 D. High Slit Pencil 1 $180.00 16 12 6 570 Skirt Tops A. 3/4 Sleeve Peplum 1 $128.00 16 12 6 570 Top B. Long Sleeve 1 $128.00 18 12 6 600 Dashiki C. Short Sleeve Off 2 $98.00 18 12 6 600 Shoulder Top D. Button Peplum Shirt 1 $82.00 18 12 6 600 E. Ruffle Short Sleeve 1 $98.00 16 10 0 440 F. Lace Tunic 1 $148.00 10 6 0 270 G. Chambray Tunic 1 $118.00 18 12 6 600 H. Secretary Top with 1 $100.00 18 12 6 600 Bow Pants A. Off Shoulder Jumpsuit 1 $150.00 18 12 6 600 B. Printed Culottes 1 $128.00 18 12 6 600 C. Printed Shorts 1 $80.00 16 10 6 530 D. Two-Way Halter 2 $140.00 16 12 6 570 Jumpsuit E. Sleeveless Romper 2 $110.00 16 10 6 530 Accessories A. Woven Cross-body Bag 2 $90.00 18 12 6 600 B. Woven Tote Bag 1 $80.00 18 12 6 600 C. Printed Head Wrap 3 $30.00 18 10 0 470 D. Ruffle Collar 1 $30.00 16 10 0 440 Total 13,870 UNITS ON HAND TOTAL: A=426 B= 284 C= 120 AVERAGE INVENTORY ON HAND AT RETAIL: $1,704,840


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SIX MONTH BUYING PLAN My six month financial buying plan for spring/summer 2017 will fund an average stock investment of $1,762,600. This average stock investment accounts for the average stock needed for the assortment plan. I plan to turn my stock 2.0 times and have an average sales forecast of $3,500,000. I am planning my IMU% at 60.00%, the reductions at 18.00% and my target GM% is planned at 48.50%.

A L E A P O F ST Y L E FINANCIAL PLAN SPRING 2017 (000’s) Net Sales Inventory Turnover Average Stock Reduction $ Reduction % IMU% GM%

3500.0 2.0 1762.6 630.0 18.00% 60.00% 48.50% Figure 5. A Leap of Style S/S 2016

(000’s) Net Sales

February March

April

May

June

July

Total

525.0

665.0

560.0

560.0

655.0

525.0

3500.0

% Spring Stock/Sales Ratio BOM Stock EOM Stock Reductions % Spring Reciepts Retail Reciepts Cost

15.00% 3.2 1680.0 1862.0 69.3 11.00% 776.3 310.5

19.00% 2.8 1862.0 1792.0 81.9 13.00% 676.9 270.8

16.00% 3.2 1792.0 1792.0 107.1 17.00% 667.1 266.8

16.00% 3.2 1792.0 1862.0 126.0 20.00% 756.0 302.4

19.00% 2.8 1862.0 1680.0 138.6 22.00% 621.6 248.6

15.00% 3.2 1680.0 1670.0 107.1 17.00% 622.1 248.8

100.00% 1762.6 630.0 100.00% 4120.0 1648.0


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YMA FSF BUSINESS CASE STUDY 2017

P L A N S FO R U P S CA L E

Upon the intended success of A Leap of Style as a member of the Macy and Etsy

collaboration, the collection would be placed in an additional 150 stores still focusing on metropolitan areas within the United States (Houston, Nashville, San Francisco).

Expanding A Leap of Style into other product categories like shoes or even bridal wear

would be a great opportunity to build a loyal consumer base for the brand.

Keeping in mind that A Leap of Style is new to the manufacturing sector, creating a

mentorship program to help the founder develop a few exclusive pieces for the collaboration could pave the way for the artisan to be a long-lasting member of the Macy’s brand.

P L A N S FO R L I Q U I DAT I O N

In the event that A Leap of Style experiences

a low sell-through rate following the first six months of sales in Macy’s, it’s important to create a liquidation strategy that doesn’t harm the brand identity of Macy’s, Etsy or A Leap of Style.

QVC is a 24-hour home shopping network

that features a variety of today’s most innovative brands. QVC fits with the brand initiatives of Macy’s, Etsy and A Leap of Style with their focus on quality and value. Plus, the network streams to over 195 million homes across the world.

Figure 6. Lindsay wearing A Leap of Style

Utilizing Lindsay’s entrepreneurial spirit and bubbly personality, the remaining A Leap of

Style inventory would be sold on QVC, live, as a special feature. Lindsay would co-host an hour long segment showing the amazing quality of her clothing and her story about building her brand as a start-up company.


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APPENDIX A EXCERPTS FROM MY INTERVIEW WITH KARISSA LINDSAY ON THE START OF HER BRAND “I started taking leaps of faith to see if I could really turn my passion and hobby into a business. I'd enter fashion shows and contests - I tried all kinds of things! Even opening the Etsy shop was a leap for me. That's where the name A Leap of Style comes from. The beginning was all about taking risks. As I went along, I realized the name fit with the type of woman who wears my clothing.“ ON HER DESIGN INSPIRATION “I'm inspired most by the women I design for. I always want to make women feel beautiful, bold, and confident in the clothing I design.” ON WHAT THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS MISSING Figure 7. Lindsay (center) wearing A Leap of Style was room for my unique voice and perspective in the fashion industry, but there was not. I would “I wish that as a kid, I'd had someone tell me that there

love to see more women of color represented in the industry from designers to stylists to models to merchandisers and buyers. All of it. Again, we just bring a unique flavor to the mix that I think the industry is missing.” ON THE RISE OF BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES “If you don't see it then it's harder to piece it together, and we just don't have enough black-owned businesses in our communities to teach one another the ropes. I think all of that has a lot to do with why we don't see as many black-owned businesses in stores. The learning curve is steeper for us most of the time. I think in the next 5 years or so, we'll begin to see far more representation on the shelves than in any other time. I attribute that mostly to the Internet and social media. There are more people taking a chance on starting a business, and there's more opportunity to share the knowledge of how to even get into a store in the first place.”


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APPENDIX B PROPOSED STORE DESIGN The key strategy for merchandising A Leap of Style is to keep the space minimal so that the collection can really shine on the sales floor. The design is based off of a single perimeter wall and an open sales area. The goals is to encourage the customers to want to explore A Leap of Style’s diverse product assortment.

Beneath the Logo at the center of the perimeter wall, is a television flat screen. As

customers shop the space, they can watch a short clip introducing Lindsay’s and her brand mission. Additionally, should the location not feature the full product collection, there will be an iPad located within the space for customers to order additional pieces they loved right in the store.

Figure 8. Mock Merchandise Layout for A Leap Of Style


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BIBLIOG RAPHY [The Bluebird Collection]. (2014, June 20). Retrieved October 2, 2016, from http://www.sc.edu/

uofsc/posts/2014/06_leap_of_style_2013.php#.WCROqeErLow

A Diverse and Inclusive Organization - Macy’s, Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2016, from

https://www.macysinc.com/about-us/diverse-inclusive-organization/default.aspx

#GIRLBOSS: Karissa Lindsay of A Leap of Style. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2016, from

http://ltinthecity.com/girlboss-karissa-lindsay-leap-style/

The Institute of Politics at Harvard University. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2016, from http://

iop.harvard.edu/iop-now/how-millennials-use-social-media

[Karissa Lindsay on Bench]. (2014, June 2). Retrieved September 29, 2016, from http://

www.houstonchronicle.com/life/style/fashion/article/Kickstarter-helps-Houston-design

er-follow-her-5523423.php

[Karissa Lindsay in Jumpsuit]. (2016, August 30). Retrieved November 8, 2016, from https://

www.aleapofstyle.com/blogs/aleapofrealstyle/8-things-i-wish-id-known-before-starting-

a-fashion-business

[Karissa Lindsay wearing orange]. (2016, September 28). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from

http://ltinthecity.com/girlboss-karissa-lindsay-leap-style/

[A Leap of Style Look Book Blue Background]. (2016, May 4). Retrieved November 7, 2016,

from http://fashionbombdaily.com/lookbook-a-leap-of-styles-spring-summer-2016-col

lection/


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BIBLIOG RAPHY A Leap of Style – A Leap of Style. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2016, from https://www.aleapof

style.com/

In The Fashion Spotlight: Karissa Lindsay Of A Leap Of Style. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24,

2016, from http://www.uptownmagazine.com/2016/02/in-the-fashion-spotlight-karissa-

lindsay-of-a-leap-of-style/

Leinbach-Reyhle, N. (2016, January 31). Etsy Launches First Ever Shop At Macy’s In New York

City. Retrieved October 24, 2016.

Macy’s Core Customer Changing - Business Insider. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2016, from

http://www.businessinsider.com/macys-millennials-baby-boomers-2012-10

Rampton, J. (2014). QVC Tips – How To Get on QVC. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from

http://www.inc.com/john-rampton/qvc-tips-how-to-get-on-qvc.html

[Ruffled Collar]. (2016, September 28). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from http://ltinthecity.

com/girlboss-karissa-lindsay-leap-style/

Sewing, J. (n.d.). Kickstarter helps Houston designer follow her dream. Retrieved November

09, 2016, from http://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/style/fashion/article/Kickstart

er-helps-Houston-designer-follow-her-5523423.php

Please Note: All mock-ups in this case study were created by the author for the YMA FSF Scholarship (2016).

Macy's X Etsy Collaboration  

This is my submission for the 2017 YMA FSF Scholarship competition focused on creating a successful partnership between Macy's and Etsy.

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