Trunk Shows: Direct Sales Are In Style

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Fashionable women are finding direct sales companies such as Carlisle, Doncaster and Worth to be the new/old resource for finding a personal stylist to work with their needs and time constraints. These companies are bringing back the appeal of personal shopping and combining it with the convenience of a home environment.

The concept of home clothing sales initially targeted women who spent a lot of time at home during the 1950s through the ’70s. They were mostly society women who enjoyed the exclusivity of the collections and the comfort of having tea while shopping. Today, the business is more focused on working women — who may be time-deprived, size-challenged, frequent travelers or want tailored clothing styles made from fine fabrics.

“It was originally a very ladylike thing for women who lunched all the time,” says Carrington North, national recruiting manager for the Worth Collection. “Now it’s a really dynamic business. It’s changed to cater to people who don’t have any time.”

Etcetera spokesman Jeff Salzgeber says his company’s clientele ranges from stay-at-home moms to professional women.

“Our customers appreciate that they are able to shop at their convenience, by appointment, day or evening,” he says. “We keep files on each client, including fabric swatches of what they bought from previous seasons. Must-haves from the past will go with a new detail from the spring. The yellow skirt you bought two years ago will match the yellow you bought this season.”

Many companies have two types of lines, one contemporary and one classic. This is partly because home trunk shows have broadened their clientele and have modernized their offerings to reflect current trends.

Logo from Etcetera


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