MAGIC: A Personal Stylist Reveals How Retailers Can Use Styling to Bolster Sales

In Industry Experts, What's New, Accessories by Ann Loynd

Personal stylist Bridgette Raes says retailers must provide salespeople with basic styling knowledge.

At the recent MAGIC trade show in Vegas, personal stylist and style expert Bridgette Raes spoke about how fashion retailers can use styling to increase sales and promote customer loyalty. The key, she says, is for store owners to arm their staff with styling knowledge that puts the focus on finding solutions over moving product. Why? “Customers don’t trust salespeople,” she says. “But they want to trust you, and they want to be unburdened from the decision making.”

And that decision-making, Raes stresses, includes accessories. “Many women struggle with accessorizing. They don’t feel confident in how to use them and don’t feel knowledgeable in how accessories can be used to switch up looks, maximize their clothing purchases and do more with less,” she explains. “Stylists can be helpful in marketing accessories because they can give instructive examples to women on how they can be used in a way that is individual and specific to a certain need.”

“When women can see examples, and understand what works for them specifically, they can see how to use [certain accessories] and feel more confident in their choices.”
Bridgette Raes

In order to style a customer, she explains, salespeople should know the basic principals of how to dress different body proportions and how to create balance and proportion using clothing and accessories. Plus, a basic understanding of color theory never hurt. (Raes also breaks some bad news to us: not everyone looks good in black.)

The goal, she says, is to sell solutions over product. “Every customer coming in has a problem you can solve,” she notes, adding that said problem could be a life change that requires a new wardrobe, from marriage to a new job or even weight loss. “Give salespeople knowledge to engage customers and tell them why something is or isn’t working.”

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