Retail Therapy: Winter Sales Blues…

all that you can't leave behind
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January 1, 2013
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January 3, 2013

I must say, I appreciate the text alert service that a few of my favorite apparel stores have started a few seasons back. It’s neat. At least the stores maintain a mailing list of their customers and try to stay in touch with them. It’s beside the point that they make no effort to listen to them though! By Fareeha Qayoom

I must say, I appreciate the text alert service that a few of my favorite apparel stores have started a few seasons back. It’s neat. At least the stores maintain a mailing list of their customers and try to stay in touch with them.  It’s beside the point that they make no effort to listen to them though!


Take for example, Giordano…


The other day I got an alert from Giordano that they have opened up a new store in Xinhua Mall…so I made a point of visiting them when I visited the place. It took a while to locate them though. (The smell of paint is pretty strong). And, no they still do not carry my size. What’s the point of alerting me about a new store opening when I can’t buy anything from them anymore?   (This is after I bought out their entire stock of tank tops in my size during one sale two seasons ago, and a couple of jewel color short sleeve tees- hence, inclusion of my contact on their customer list).


Next is another one…They go through frequent staff changes; so they keep misplacing their customer mailing lists; their preferences and their sizes. Sometimes, I get a promotion alert but mostly I don’t.


Funnily enough I am a loyal customer and a frequent buyer of their stock –I even have their privilege customer card and also buy items on full price if the whim takes me… I get pretty frustrated that they no longer carry my size across all styles on their available stock, nor my favorite wardrobe ‘essential’ short sleeve and long sleeve scoop neck basic tees (retail in UK for 4 and 6 pounds each respectively- sell in Pakistan for PKR 800 and PKR 1200 respectively). Basic tees are one item that need frequent replenishment in your wardrobe and should be available year around, especially in basic colors like black, white, navy, red, green etc., moreover, I might also like a pair of jeans or a tee shirt but it might not be available in my size.



Furthermore, there is at least one other customer (in my neighborhood) like me who doesn’t wait around for sales if she likes something. She sometimes buys an item that I have my eye on from right under me when I am not looking.  On top of it, all three branches of next stores carry slightly different stock. You might not find the same item at all three locations in the same size. I don’t know what they do with their SKU/barcode data anyway? Is it just for show or do they actually analyze customer buying trends and stock replenishments?


Mango is another new promising store in town. They carry basics too. They also carry my size (so far). I like their assortment and the fact that they carry basic tees in basic colors like black, navy, white, red. I also like the fact that they’re available on line for Pakistan- (you can browse their stock on line with PKR prices).


Their price points are comparative to Giordano and are higher than Next though. When push comes to shove, if Next doesn’t stock up on their basics, I might be forced to become Mango’s loyal customer as well, even though, I like Next’s tee shirt prices the best.


For me, it’s not a question of branding, it’s a question of requirement – I have to regularly stock up my tee shirt drawer so I will go to the retailer that stocks up my size (as fit is the most important consideration), than color, quality and styling. Price is the last consideration on my shopping list. (If the price is higher, I might not buy as many tee shirts as I want, but I would still buy a few each season to keep my drawer fresh and current!)  I also think tee shirts shouldn’t cost as much as a pair of jeans.  They should be promoted as a pack of two, three or four and should always be available across all sizes year around in basic colors. They’re wardrobe staples.


Is anyone listening?



787-959-X51s-scoop tee Long Sleeve Scoop neck tee – retailing at 6 pounds in UK, In Pakistan: for PKR 1,200 (in 2016 – retailing at PKR 1,460).

776579-scoop neck tee short sleeve Short Sleeve scoop neck tee – retails in UK for 4 pounds, in Pakistan for PKR 800 whenver in stock (in 2016, its retailing at PKR 1,070).

791-012-X51s-vest top Sleevless scoop neck vest retailing in UK for 4 pounds, in Pakistan for PKR 800 whenever in stock


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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.


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  2. Sadiakhanum says:

    I so agree with you. I do not wear shirts like these myself, but having two kids makes me do the same. Wardrobe staple, tell me about it. In winter I need same things with high necks too. and really no one is listening, size regardless.

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