I’m doing a Blogging 201 course so I’m writing a weekly blog on anything in my head –
I recently wrote in one of my blogs about retail stores… Negatively. Since then I’ve had a great local shopping experience, so I’m sharing. If only more shops took a leaf from the Blue Illusion concept!
This weeks blog – “Wild Thoughts 3”
A quote from my blog Ponderings – “I totally get why mothers (and others )shop online. The American ‘on line’ catalogues are awesome and it is so much easier than carting kids around shops. Many NZ and Aussie shops do not even have seats or what I call book corners for kids, they certainly don’t encourage you to bring your children shopping. I think they miss out big time. My grand children will sit and read or play on their Mums’ phone quite happily for 15 minutes or longer. Especially when screen time is a treat for them not away of life! Retailers complain about ‘on line’ shopping but they need to look at the experience they are offering. “One of my gripes is changing rooms to try on clothes that have no chairs, no shelves, no hooks, no mirrors and no elbow room in the cubicle! These shops don’t deserve customers!”
I am delighted to mention a woman’s fashion store that offers a great shopping experience. A chain of stores no less, that really care about their customers. These stores are called Blue Illusion. There are 127 stores throughout out New Zealand, Australia and North America and yet they have a boutique feel to them. Head office is in Melbourne. I even discovered a free gift in my shopping bag, a cake of French soap 🙂 From their website “Driving change and making a real difference is integral to Blue Illusion. On going partnerships with charities including World Vision, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Dress for Success, Bali Life, Red Cross Australia and Smith Family are the foundation to the brand’s vision of ultimate success. In recent years, it is estimated that Blue Illusion has donated in excess of $500k annually.”
All of their stores run small local fashion shows regularly donating up to 20% of that days sales to a local charity. This week my local Remuera Blue Illusion store is doing an in store parade and 7% of that days takings to The Nepal Earthquake Fund. “If your favourite charity, school or organisation could benefit from our unique fundraising opportunities please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone your nearest boutique. Call 1800 208 209 for more information.”
I’m proud to support a retail store that supports their communities, makes shopping pleasurable and has cool clothes!! (not just small sizes either!)
There are far too many stores where I live in Newmarket that are considered cool; they are anything but cool!! Shops where the shop assistant does not bother to look up from her phone when you walk in the door! If they do look up it is dismissively. That is because I am a size 16. Do you know the average size in New Zealand. It is 16. These shops don’t cater for the largest and I might add financially better off market group.The baby boomers with time to shop, money in their pockets and a desire for style. Who do these girls think they are?
BOARDROOM is one of Trelisse Coopers labels..
Trelisse Cooper makes these sizes and it hasn’t damaged her status or bottom line! From their website “So who is the Trelise Cooper woman? Or can she be summed up at all? “She’s not afraid to show her personality,” explains Trelise. “She’s unconventional. She has a sense of humour. She’s quirky. She’s a risk taker and has the courage to express herself. She’s not trying to conform to the look of the season. She’s brave. She is sexy. She is vulnerable at heart but strong when she needs to be.”
SAKAGUCHI is one of numerous designer labels at Zebrano.
Zebrano is another shop that has designer clothes from size 14 upwards. They have numerous shops throughout new Zealand. Read the inset box.
From the Sydney Herald “Much of the debate about size has to do with the fact that all dress sizes – like all women – are not created equal. It’s now perfectly normal for a woman to have a range of dress sizes – up to three sizes either way – in her wardrobe. This is due to moves like that in Australia of the Standard Size Coding Scheme for Women’s Clothing being scrapped, in 2008, allowing retailers to develop their own scale based on sales data. This has meant that one retailer’s size ten is another retailer’s size fourteen. Do you know what that sort of thing does to a woman’s esteem? Very little!! Dress size is unlikely ever to be standardised again. Nor is the way woman feel about their bodies. Yet busting out of the numbers game surely is on every woman’s To Do list? ”
And at the more affordable end of the shopping spectrum Farmers have a good range but the shopping experience is ghastly; ghastly change rooms, too few staff to assist you so who bothers? not me! (well I do go in there for basic black merino tops and knickers of course – yes on sale days). Alanah Hill have lovely change rooms however very small sizing. I could name many more. When I see the closing down signs appear I smile to myself and think ‘are we surprised?’ There are some very good retail stores out there make no mistake, but they are out numbered and can spoil an afternoons shopping!
Newmarket is the fashion hub of Auckland shopping.
So if you own a small designer store in Newmarket I have little sympathy for you with rude sales girls and size 14 being your largest size. One store told me “we have 16’s, but they are really just 14’s “. Retailers are always crying hardship and how tough it is but they bring much of it on themselves. There I’ve said it!! I’ve struck this in other cities and shopping hubs too, it is not just my hometown.
Osborne Street Newmarket, fashion capital of Auckland!
In my next life I’ll design beautiful clothes for women over 60 who enjoy life!! The ones Trelisse Cooper talks about!! I’ll have elegant spacious changing rooms with hooks, shelves, tissues and mirrors. I will have shop assistants that like serving people of any size and the world will be happy!!! Dreams are wonderful and free …
I’m smiling are you? remember to comment… Thankyou – and to share..