[BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON] FRANCESANNE M. SILVA MARKET RESEARCH PORTFOLIO
Trimester mainly focuses on developing a relationship with our client. We want their experience with us to be as great and as memorable as the coming months. Each of our employees will be fully educated on product knowledge, with each unique fabric and fit that ensures comfort and aesthetic appeal. In order to keep track of our customers and their purchases, we will ask if they want to be put into our client books. With our client books, the customer that is being helped by one employee will be her client. This way, throughout the months of pregnancy, our employee will have established a strong relationship with her client and offer personalized help, as well as, know the needs and wants for the client. The information needed when first being entered into the client book is the name, address, phone number, e-mail and due date. It is the employee’s responsibility to take note of likes, dislikes and other information they find relevant about their client. With that information, Trimester will be able to inform our clients of upcoming sales and new products that will be coming in. Personalized ‘Thank You’ notes will be sent to follow up on a sale ensuring that our customers are satisfied with their products. Trimester will not only act as a typical retail store, but will provide many services that will lessen the stresses during this time of year. We will have a “Mommy Knows Best” list which will be given to 41
the mothers-to-be that explains what products would be suggested. For a more personalized “Mommy Knows Best” list our employees will incorporate specific clothing that caters to what their client’s lifestyle. This list will evolve every three months due to the physical changes and wellbeing of the client. A copy of the “Mommy Knows Best” list will be made and kept with the employee. By having a copy of the list, Trimester will utilize it for friends and family. That way they are aware of client’s products that are desired. We also offer gift wrapping services. Price tags will be removed from the purchased product and it will be folded neatly before placing it into a Trimester box. This way we lessen the hassle from buying presents. Trimester offers a variety of classes for our parents-to-be. Since we are an athletic wear store for pregnant women, every weekend there will be an instructor who teaches specialized yoga classes and Lamaze Breathing classes. Every three months, Trimester will host an event geared towards a day of relaxation and fun for our clients. At the event, there will be small giveaways, such as, travel-sized lotions and tickets for a massage on us! With the help of local, surrounding shops, it will not only increase the confidence of our women but increase the publicity of Trimester and its local sponsors The return policy for Trimester is exchange or store credit after 14 days. The merchandise must be unworn with tags and the purchaser must have the receipt on hand. Sale items and accessories will be final sale. However, if there is a manufacturer’s defect then we will repair the merchandise, if possible. If not, then we will gladly replace the defected item with a similar product. With every purchase made, it is the duty of our employees to have the purchaser sign the bottom of the receipt which states our store policy. Trimester differs from the competition in many ways. We, not only, focus on fashion during pregnancy but emphasize on comfort. We understand that pregnancy is the biggest change of a woman’s life so we want our women to look and feel as beautiful as they are.
PRODUCT Some of the brands that Trimester will carry are as follows:
The products of Trimester represent the fashion forward women that care for their wellbeing, as well as, their baby’s wellbeing. The categories that will be carried at Trimester include: •
Tops o T-shirts o Hoodies o Zip-ups o Tanks
Bottoms o Pants o Cut-offs o Shorts
Accessories o Hats o Socks o Cold wear
Bags o Diaper Bags o Duffel Bags
Miscellaneous o Baby Books o Strollers
PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE
The products carried at Trimester will be in the growth stage. â€œThe Growth Stage is characterized by rapid growth in sales and profits. Profits arise due to an increase in output (economies of scale) and possibly better prices.â€?61 Because the majority of the clothing will be staples, we do not want our designs to be too crazy. Our team will have analyzed the trends of color and cut to determine what would be a good fit for our clientele.
PRICE Trimester is a maternity athletic wear store that has something for everybody in different price ranges. The price point for Trimester merchandise is medium to high with the price range being $20 $300; the price line in which products are most dense if $100. In this area, we will have products such as: bottoms, sweaters, and bags. The prize zone sits at $20, carrying items such as baby books and accessories. As for the prestige price of $150 - $300, our clients will be purchasing items such as jackets and strollers. Being that we have customers with a high range of income, we want to carry product that portray the quality that they are looking for. The following charts split up each category into price ranges. There we can see where we will get the most amount of inventory and the price zone of each.
Our jackets are made to ensure safety with our women and their baby. So our fabrics will function as warmth and can withstand wind and rain. With that, our jackets will be priced more in the higher price range.
TOPS 10 8 6 4
Tanks: $20 - $50
T-Shirts: $30 - $70
Hoodies: $50 - $150
Zip-Ups: $70 - $200
2 0 $20
The price zone in which we will have the most inventory is between $75 - $125. There we will have a mix of T-Shirts, Hoodies, and Zip-Ups, which are the most purchased items in the Seattle area due to the weather conditions.
Pants: $75 - $125
Cut-Offs: $50 - $100
Shorts: $20 – 40
We will get the most inventory within the price range of $50 - $100. Our bottoms are focused more on comfort for indoor activities and exercises. With this, our most popular bottoms will eb the cut-offs and pants. Our shorts will be in our inventory mostly for women in their first trimester who are still avid outdoor runners. However, throughout the rest of their pregnancy, a majority of our women are seen in cut-offs and pants. Because there is an amount of stretch that our bottoms will have, they will be made from a mix of cotton/lyrca and cotton/spandex. The more stretch with the fabric, the more comfort the product will be able to provide to our women.
• • •
Hats Gloves Cold Wear
With accessories our price zone with be $20 - $30. Most of these products will be smaller items mainly used as add-ons. Some of the hats that will be sold are more unstructured: beanies, baseball caps, and flap eared beanies. Our cold wear includes scarves, cowls, and legwarmers.
Baby Books: $15 - $40 Strollers: $100 - $200
As for the miscellaneous items, our prize zone will vary from $20 - $150. Our books will be from featured authors on subjects ranging from first time parents to scrapbook kits. As for baby strollers, Trimester will carry: the basic umbrella stroller, the lightest stroller that can fold easy; multi-function stroller, which can serve not only as a stroller, but also as a bassinet, and an infant/child seat; and active strollers, made for parents who enjoy physical activity with their children.
PLACE The merchandise that will be sold at Trimester will be ordered directly from the vendor and manufacturer. Our supplier will be Charter Link, Ltd located in: Room 506 Sun Cheong Industry BLDG No. 2 Cheung Yee St Cheung Sha Wan, Hong Kong, China Since our clothing will be in the growth stage of the product life cycle, we will not have to rely heavily on being the first company to get a specific fashion. However, we strive not to be the last one either. With this, we will be using Charter Link, Ltd to get our merchandise via ocean freight. They will be leaving from port located in Yantian, China and will be docking in Tacoma, Washington. Charter Link, Ltd â€œ[offers] the one-stop-shop solution of providing air freight, ocean freight, trucking, warehousing, and distribution, China transshipment, and customs clearance.â€?62 The port will be located in Yantian, China and will dock in Tacoma, Washington. From Tacoma, Washington we will have FedEx responsible for the deliver via ground to our store in Bellevue, Washington.
ADVERTISING Trimester will utilize various forms of media in order to advertise our name to the public. These types of media include: blog sites, websites, local magazines and newspapers, and even local radio stations. A separate blog site will be attached to the stores website, where our customers will receive information regarding new merchandise, sales promotions, events, and reviews from previous clients. In 2009, a study showed that “reading online and on paper is different.”63 The Columbia Journalism Review states that “newspapers are far and away from the primary medium for checking advertising. […]Internet advertising [is also] above TV.”64 With this information, we will focus our advertisements on newspapers and magazines. Because Internet has followed through in the second primary medium for checking advertisements, we will be using websites and blog sites as well. E-mails will be collected upon purchase and by choice, if wanting to be added into a client book. This will allow a gateway of communication from employee to client. On the bottom of the e-mail we will provide our website and blog site for them to visit. The website will be used to advertise and sell merchandise. However, there will only be exclusive in-store promotions, so we can attract more people to its physical location. As for local magazines and newspapers, Trimester will be using the Seattle Magazine, Seattle Weekly and Seattle Post Intelliger. As for radio stations, we will be looking into Star 101.5, Warm 106.9, and Kiss 106.1. We will be looking into m-commerce and the use of mobile applications for smart phones. This way our clients will have access to store information no matter where they are!
DIRECT MARKETING STRATEGY Trimester plans on utilizing print advertisements and phone calls to reach our customers. In order to get our name out to the public, we will hand out flyers to be passed out at local pregnancy classes. Since our employees will be educated in maternity yoga, we will send our employees to hold a demonstration with the instructor in one of the classes. From these classes, we would gather up as much information about the women who are regularly attending. Once we have established a list, we would personally call or e-mail them about the upcoming opening of the store. Since they would be considered our first customers, we will offer them a “Baby Bag” which has a flyer for our store, a sweatband with our logo, a small water bottle, and an employee contact card. PRINT DISTRIBUTION Seattle Magazine Seattle Magazine 1505 Western Avenue, Suite 500 Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 284 – 1750 Circulation Distribution •
Seattle Magazine has an average monthly distribution of 70,000 and a paid circulation income of more than 54,000. This magazine is distributed via in-room paid circulation at about 20 of Seattle’s luxury hotels, which overall, provides a direct link to the affluent visiting market. The Seattle Magazine is also sold at stand in the Seattle-Tacoma airport. The estimated rate for Seattle Magazine is $8,335 for a full-page, black and white advertisement.65
The Seattle Magazine Subscriber Average Age
51 years old
Average Household Income
Average Net Worth
75% Female 25% Male
Average Home Value
Seattle Weekly Seattle Weekly 1008 Western Ave, Suite 300 Seattle, Washington 98104 (206) 623 - 0500 Circulation and Distribution: Seattle Weekly has a weekly circulation of 75,000 and is deemed one of the larger weekly local newspapers in the Seattle, Washington area. The estimated ad for the Seattle Weekly newspaper is $65 which is typically for a column inch, black and white.
Seattle Post Intelliger Seattle Post Intelleger 101 Elliot Avenue W Seattle, Washington 98119 (206) 448 â€“ 8000 Circulation and Distribution: The Seattle Post Intelliger is a daily newspaper circulating around the Seattle area. This newspaper attracts an audience of 128,000 readers. Because it is a newspaper that is distributed daily, the 66
newspaper ad rate is $360. With this, we will be getting a column inch of black and white advertising space. Radio Advertising Star 101.5 KPLZ-FM 140 4th Ave N, Suite 340 Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 404 â€“ 4000 Circulation and Distribution: This radio station tends to adult contemporary music. By advertising on KPLZ-FM we will be reaching out to people ranging from the North Western region of Washington State. Advertisements on this radio station are estimated at $209. This is typically for a 30 second spot. However, seasonal factor and volume discounts are available.67
Kiss 106.1 KBKS-FM 1000 Dexter Ave N, Suite 100 Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 805 â€“ 1061 Circulation and Distribution: Kiss 106.1 is owned by CBS Radio and plays the top 40. With KBKS-FM we are broadcasting to the North West region of Washington State. However, the Kiss 106.1 radio state can extend nationwide. The estimated ad rate is $300 for a 30 second spot. Again, season factor and volume discounts play a role in advertising costs. 67
PUBLIC RELATIONS Before opening the Trimester store, we will be distributing a press release to the local newspapers, magazines and radio stations. We will also be handing out flyers throughout the Seattle Area. They will be placed in gyms, specifically, yoga and maternity classes. A ‘first time buyer’ coupon of 10% will be attached with all the flyers to enhance their curiosity.
For Immediate Release CONTACT: FRANCESANNE SILVA
DATE: November 2010
PHONE: 206-987-6543 “A New Trimester” Who: Trimester, a maternity athletic wear boutique will be opening its doors to the public What: Maternity athletic wear that emphasizes on comfort while still being fashionable that will create a radiant glow that will last forever. Where: Level 2 in Bellevue Square Bellevue, Washington. Why: 10% off the first purchase. This will be a one stop shop for pregnant women to shop for their coming months while maintaining a healthy lifestyle with yoga and Lamaze breathing classes. When: May 2012
Along with the advertisements, Trimester will be hosting in-store events every three months. This event will focus on a day of fun and relaxation for the women. Local sponsors will be there to donate some items that will be put into a “Baby Bag.” Some items that will be included in the bag are: lotions, candles, nail polish and sweets.
PERSONAL SELLING Trimester wants to provide our customers with the best shopping experience they have had. This will be done by building strong relationship that will have our store considered to be their extended family. When our customers enjoy their visit and know that we take care of our store and, ultimately, take care of them, they will be coming back. All of the staff will be fully knowledgeable of the merchandise, so that our customers will trust our judgment and know that we are not merely there to have them make a purchase, but instead want them to be completely confident in themselves. We will be having personal client books in order to keep track of our customers; we will also have a client database on the computer. These will be used to distribute advertisements, promotional sales, and handwritten, personalized â€˜thank youâ€™ cards to follow up with. With specific clients, our employees will not hesitate to directly call the client to check up on their wellbeing and satisfaction.
INTERNET STRATEGIES The internet will be a vital role to the success of our store. Because we will be the first store of this kind to open in Bellevue, Washington, we want to be easily accessible to people in other locations. Here are the budgeting information for an internet site and a blogging site. •
Internet Hosting Space o Lunar Pages §
Cost: $60/year, maintenance included68
Website Designer o Cost: $40/hour o Website will be changed every season and will be updated every month
Advertising o Online Advertising §
Provided with Lunar Pages
o Press Release §
Free of Charge
o Social Network §
This website will broaden our client base and provide a way for our customers to keep up-todate information of events and merchandise. Because we live in a world consumed with various types of technology, most of our clients are familiar with social networking sites. With that, we will have a fan page on Facebook and a Twitter which can livestream information we decided to tweet about.
REACH & FREQUENCY PLAN With our advertising, we will reach a broad audience. Because we will be incorporating various types of media, our audience will be stretched out all over Washington State. The types of media include: websites, blogs, flyers, mailers, local magazines, and local newspapers. The internet will allow us to advertise by blogging for free. This would be very helpful in our budge being that we are a new store. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook will be used since our demographic is familiar with it. These internet sites allow our merchandise and name to be easily accessible to all, and easily distributed and viewed by our customers and friends. With our blog, we can advertise our new promotions, events, and new merchandise. Our blogging site will also provide links to our in-store pregnancy classes and the instructor who teaches. Our blogging site will be hosted by WordPress.com and can allow our users to leave comments, questions, and suggestions to better improve our business. Also, with our comments section, our clients will be helping other customers who want to purchase a specific product but do not have the means of physically examining it. Out of the Seattle Times Subscribers, 565,600 are between the ages of 21-35, which is the targeted age range.69 With Seattle Magazine, about 75% of them are women.70 Kiss 106.1 is a radio station that plays the top 40 hits and is geared towards young adult who enjoy the nightlife and enjoy all sorts of music. Star 101.5 plays adult contemporary, playing hits of today’s generation and back into the early 90’s. With Warm 106.9, we are looking at classic hits that are soothing to listen to and have targeted the older demographic. With these radio stations, we are not only broadening our reach to practically all of Western Washington but with all the age groups, as well. The allotted budget for the year is as follows: •
Newspapers/Magazines: $3000 - $5000/year
Internet: o Email / Blog / Social Networking Pages: Free o Lunar Pages: $60/Year with free maintenance
PRICING OBJECTIVES Trimester aspire to maximize long term profits. In order for our store to get customers in, we are going to provide discounted product only on select styles. As the store grows and has a more stable client base, we will move away from discounted items and slowly increase the price of the merchandise to make a larger profit. We also seek to increase our dollar sales. Upon opening, we do not expect to make goals on a daily basis. Since our store is new, our clientele will be small and our store would be at the state of word of mouth beginning to spread. However, as months go on, we will increase the amount of sales as we build a stronger client base and encourage them to refer their friends and family to the store. By simply keeping a client data base and creating long-lasting relationships with our customers, we will ensure their business, as well as, their family and friends. For our women who are loyal customers, we will keep them up-to-date on new merchandise and events that will be happening in the store. Since we will focus on continuing to market the opening of Trimester, our client base will continue to grow which will increase our dollar sales. Because our store focuses mainly on building close relationships with our clients, we strive to provide the best quality of customer service. Our staff will be fully aware of all the needs and wants, and the do’s and don’ts for each of their client. In addition, they will be knowledgeable about the product by knowing what the product is made from, and the pros of the fabric. We want our women to feel comfortable to shop with us because we want to gain their loyalty. When customers make purchases, we will collect their information in order to send out personalized “thank you” cards to let them know that we enjoyed our time with them. Through these cards, we will follow up on their purchase. Gaining a competitive advantage is another objective of Trimester. Since many stores do not focus on fashionable athletic wear for pregnant women, we have an advantage. We will provide a one stop shop that has merchandise that cannot be found in many other places. This will ease any stress that women, or another one would have to go through. Our women not only want to look and feel as great as they did prior to their pregnancy, but they also want their baby to feel safe and secure.
PRICING STRATEGY Since Trimester caters to pregnant women between the ages of 20 – 40, we want to have a line of merchandise from $20 and up. This means that we will be price lining, because we will have a wide range of prices from low to high. We want to be able to provide product for any one of our women, being that they range from various types of mothers to be. Trimester will also do optional product pricing. With optional product pricing we will be increasing the sales amount by adding on extra merchandise. These extra products could be accessories such as socks, bags, books, and other miscellaneous items. If we see a woman purchasing a jacket, our employees will show her other cold weather accessories that we have. Our employees will create “looks” for our women so they are aware of how well our merchandise intertwines with each other. Add-on’s will be vital to our business and it will be steps to increase our IPS, items per sale, and overall, help us make our goals.
MARKUP PLAN Trimester plans to do a 300% markup on all of our clothing and a 400% on the accessories. Our competitors do a markup similar or more to what we are implementing, and being that many of our merchandise will be affordable, it would help us in increasing out profits and exceed all our expenses. Since much of our competitors are online shops, having our merchandise readily available to our customers where they could fit and feel the product will make up for our markup. Because we are a one stop shop as a kick off to a healthy pregnancy, we throw out all inconveniences of online shopping and exchanging if the product does not fit correctly.
STOCK TURNOVER The stock turnover “represents the number of times during a specific period that the average inventory on hand is sold.”71 It also determines how slow or fast product is moving and how well the demand of merchandise is being managed. Stock turnover can be calculated by the following formulas: STR = ( $ Sales) / ($ Inventory)
STR = (Total Cost of Goods) / (Average Yearly Sales)
Trimester strives to achieve a stock turnover ratio between: 3.7 – 4.3. Because we are a smaller store, our merchandise will be narrow and shallow in breadth.
MARKDOWN & SALES PLAN Because we are a smaller, specialized store, we rarely plan to markdown merchandise except for holidays and end of season sales. We will have two markdowns for some of our products. The accessories, however, will not be included for any markdowns because they are the lowest priced merchandise in the store. The follow chart shows the markdown: Product Jackets
Tops T-Shirts Hoodies Zip-Ups Tanks Bottoms Pants Cut-Offs Shorts Accessories Hats Cold Wear Socks Bags Duffel Bags Diaper Bags Misc. Baby Books Strollers
We will offer some promotional markdowns, as well. When our clients have given birth to their child, we will send them a 10% off their purchase card. With this type of promotional, we are furthering our employee-client relationship and Trimester focuses on.
When we do not move our merchandise as quickly as we hope, we will attempt to RETURN TO VENDOR to lessen a loss of goods sold. If we are refused to return, we will add promotions to our online store to reach our out of state clients. Once a shipment arrives at Trimester with any inventory that needs to be returned to the vendor, the store manager will be in charge of filling out all necessary paperwork. Once the form has been filled out, it will be sent to the vendor and a phone call will be placed to notify of any issues.
TERMS OF PAYMENT In terms of payment with our vendors, Trimester will create a contract with a 60/90 day billing period, which a discount granted with early payment. As our relationship with our vendor grows, we hope to receive additional discounts in the future for our timely payments and for being loyal customers.
DISTRIBUTION PLAN PRODUCT TO CUSTOMER Customers will receive their merchandise by purchasing in the store or online through our website. When they purchase in the store, our women will have the opportunity to browse through all of our merchandise, experimenting with all our fabrics and fits. By allowing them to see and feel the merchandise, they will be ensured that they would be satisfied on their purchase. However, if a customer calls over the phone to see if we have a certain product in, we will be willing to hold the merchandise for up to one day. We will be able to make phone sales if they are able to fill out our credit card authorization form, as well as, fax over a front and back copy of their credit card and license. If for any reason our customer will not be able to go to the store, we will send them their merchandise with a shipping charge. In the online store, our customers will be charged a shipping and handling fee in order to receive their merchandise.
OFF-SITE SALES The types of off-site sales that we will be providing will be through our online store and through phone sales. We high encourage our customers, however, to shop in the store to ensure satisfaction upon purchase. Although our online store may not have all the merchandise we offer in the actual store, it is an easier way for some people located outside the area to purchase our goods. We also want to start establishing a client base outside of Bellevue, in hopes to expand our business elsewhere.
FORMS OF PAYMENT Our customers are welcome to use their credit and debit cards if it was a Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express logo. Before the transaction is made, our employees will always ask to see identification to avoid any mishaps that could happen. Cash is also an acceptable form of payment. Trimester will not accept checks.
MEANS OF SHIPPING
If any of our customers require us to ship merchandise to their location, we will gladly do so. This requires a shipping and handling fee that will be adding onto their total of their purchase. Shipping will be provided through FedEx. The rates depend on when our customers wants to receive their merchandise. The charges for FedEx are as followed: Type of Service
FedEx Home Delivery
7 – 10 Business Days Express Saver
2 – 3 Business Days Overnight Shipping
7 – 10 Business Days
We will have an account created with FedEx to keep track of where and when we ship the product to keep our clients in the know of when they will get their package.