The newest hot spot for accessories...
After reading about Accessorize in the Metro newspaper a while back, I decided to check it out for myself. I too like to adorn myself with beautiful baubles and sport funky purses.
When I walked into the shop, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I saw an unbelievable assortment of purses, jewellery and hats. I was head-over-heels in love! The colours were mesmerizing. I wanted one of everything on the wall.
After being in the store for all of 60 seconds, I knew that I had to report to all my friends how incredibly awesome this store is.
Before I left the store, I picked up a business card and contacted the store's Director of Product and Marketing, Shari Leich, to ask her a few questions about the success of Accessorize. This is what she had to say.
Please give a brief description of your store.
Accessorize is a hip accessories boutique from London, England that offers one-stop shopping with every kind of accessory imaginable: bags, purses, jewellery, belts, hats, scarves, shoes, gloves, and hair accessories. With a fun and quirky attitude, the store is like a giant dressing room; a place where women can step out of the seriousness of their lives and indulge in a spontaneous, guilt-free shopping experience. There are more than 110 Accessorize stores in the UK and a blossoming international operation of over 100 stores.
Why did your company decide to open Accessorize in Toronto?
Accessorize is the latest English retail phenomenon brought to Canada by Margot Franssen, the Canadian retailer responsible for introducing The Body Shop to this country over 20 years ago. Travelers recognize the Accessorize name - the stores are very popular in the UK and internationally, and it's a concept that's been missing in Canada…until now! We currently have three Canadian locations, including one in Toronto, one in Vancouver and one in Burnaby, BC, with a fourth store opening in late May in Victoria. Toronto was an obvious choice, opening our first location up in the hip and trendy Yonge & Eglinton neighbourhood amongst hot retailers such as Kiehl's, Lululemon, Puma, and Club Monaco. We are looking to expand to key locations throughout the GTA in the next few years.
Who designs your items?
Accessorize has its own in-house design team and 85% of our products are exclusive to our shops. This allows the company to quickly respond to the hottest trends, bringing inspirations from the international collections or the latest urban street craze to the shop floor in mere weeks! Accessorize searches the trendsetting capitals of the world to capture looks that mix and match for a truly unique and creative expression.
What age group do you target?
Accessorize has something for girls and women of all ages. We offer an exclusive collection called "Angels" - a precious assortment of pretty things that any mother will love to buy for her little girl aged three to eight. Beyond that, there is truly something for everyone, as we offer more basic styles and trend styles, and a "good, better, best" retail philosophy, which means that most styles are available at different price points, dictated by embellishments, materials, and detailing.
What is the price range of the items?
Prices start at $4.50 for a key ring or hair accessory and can go up to $85.00 for a beautiful, embellished hand bag.
What is the best selling item?
For spring/summer 2005, our current, hottest items come from two of collections, "Kasbah" and "Mozambique." The "Kasbah" collection has a 70's edge, featuring coins, Indian bells, and fringing, which are key details for this summer's ethnic look. The "Mozambique" collection draws inspiration from the hot plains of Africa, featuring animal and tribal influenced prints, beaded details, chunky wooden beads and etched metals and feathers. The selection is constantly changing and there's a limited number of each item - shop staff will advise that if you like it, buy it now, because you may not have the chance later!
What has the response been like for your store?
Both customers and the media have been incredibly supportive of Accessorize. We have already built a loyal following of regular customers and for spring, we have been featured in Glow magazine, Chatelaine, Flare, Wish, and Fashion magazine, to name just a few publications!
What are your future plans for Accessorize?
We believe that Accessorize is a concept that will excel in the top fashion malls across the country and we have an ambitious expansion plan to grow to 50 stores in Canada in the next five years. ¤ Michelle