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Adding Accessories to Your Apparel Mix

Accessories can add style and sales to your store.

Michael Kors once said, “I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit.” And it’s true: the right accessories can add to an outfit or complete a look. And for retailers, they can be impulse items that increase an average ticket sale. So, if you’re a women's RTW store that doesn’t carry accessories, here are a few reasons why you might start. 

“Accessories offer retailers that perfect add-on sale opportunity,” says Lauren Parker, former Editor in Chief of Accessories Magazine and current Executive Editor of Footwear Plus and Earnshaw’s. “Savvy retailers will make accessories suggestions on their website when a customer clicks on a ready-to-wear item, or in store. If someone is purchasing a cocktail dress, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask, ‘Do you need a fun evening bag or earrings for that?’”

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Image: Mishky

Merchandising accessories in your store can even be a creative outlet. Most accessories don’t take up a lot of real estate, so style mannequins with a beautiful necklace, hat or scarf, or merchandise items on the cashwrap for last-minute purchases. “Consumers love the hunt with accessories, so filling a bowl with hair items can be fun,” recommends Parker.

Says Karen GIberson, President and CEO of the Accessories Council. “Everyone is watching their budgets, but there are creative ways to merchandise accessories that don’t cost a lot of money. Pintrest is an amazing resource for inspiration. For example, you can display rings in a Zen garden.”

Adds Parker, “Accessories are so easy for retailers to carry as stores don’t need to stock sizes, and they don’t even require a dressing room for impromptu try-ons (just make sure to have a mirror nearby!).”

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Image: Jijou Capri

Unsure if the latest season's trend will work for your store or don’t want to dive too deep into it? Accessories can be a great way to dip your toe in the water by having the trend represented in a smaller way. If you’re shopping for spring/summer 2020 immediates at the upcoming New York Women’s market, Parker says to have these trends on your radar:

“Anything with animal print is so hot this season, from leopard to black and white zebra to golden tiger. Snake is on fire, most often seen in naturals/neutrals, but also in fun colors.  The tropical jungle theme is upon us again, so look for basketweave bags, palm leaves with birds, tropical flowers, citrus fruits like pineapples, etc.

“Another hot trend is this whole crafty, homespun feeling, and this manifests itself in crochet, macrame, knots, woven raffia, and patchwork fabrications (this is also a sustainable way to use scraps from an older collection!). Americana is important with red, white & blue and stars. And the 80s are back! That’s where we can have fun with big hoops and resin link jewelry in bright colors. There are touches of neon too.”

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Image: Mishky

“There are so many up and coming brands to discover at the trade shows,” Giberson notes. “New and emerging brands are great for [retailers] who are looking for something different, too.” The upcoming New York Women's market this January 5-7, 2020 at the Jacob Javits Center has two dedicated accessories shows: ACCESSORIE CIRCUIT and ACCESSORIES THE SHOW. Make sure to register so that you can shop these amazing brands, and add accessories to your mix!

 

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