Retail tides are rising as the resistance to luxury goods ebbs. Visiting the Cosabella flagship and showroom in Soho, NY a few weeks ago, I discovered an interesting retail tidbit that set off my merchant’s radar. Cosabella has noticed a real sea change in their business: Customers are focusing on product in lieu of price. Only a short time ago, it was all about the cost of an item. Now the priority is in the value added. I noticed as I reviewed spring 2012 selling and previewed the fall 2012 collection, an increase in design detail, particularly as it appeared to revitalize some tried and true styles from this lifestyle brand. According to Guido Campello, VP of Sales, Branding and Innovation, it was only a year ago that the biggest volume producers for the brand emanated from their lowest price items. Clearly the economy is evolving, as luxury items in the company’s stable are having the largest impact on sale’s increases. Product with added value is eclipsing cost in the buyer’s psyche. Cosabella’s success as they reinvent tried and true basics with a luxurious edge, proves that the scales have tipped from a demand for price to a desire for content.
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