Retailers Take Different Paths to Build Loyalty
By George Anderson
Chico’s, Men’s Wearhouse and Victoria’s Secret are profiled in a San Antonio Express-News opinion column by Dave Beck, president, chief business banking officer at Frost Bank, to receive special recognition for their ability to attract and keep shoppers coming back to their stores.
Chico’s, the women’s clothing store catering to baby boomers looking for apparel that combines design sophistication and comfort, is lauded for its Passport Club. As Mr. Beck points out, “Joining is easy – just buy $500 worth of clothing and you’re enrolled. You’re then entitled to a five percent discount for life, and in addition, you’ll receive catalogs including coupons and additional savings, and invitations to special events for Passport Club members.”
Men’s Wearhouse receives kudos for its own shopper reward program but it is the retailer’s customer service that makes it stand out.
Mr. Beck writes, “One of my colleagues who recently went to Men’s Wearhouse to buy a suit for a wedding reported a strategy I found interesting. While he was in the dressing room making sure the suit fit, the saleswoman created several ‘looks’ for the suit. She gathered several shirt-and-tie combinations that color-coordinated with the suit, ranging from business attire to more festive looks for weddings and parties. When he emerged from the dressing room, the choices were there to be reviewed, and he picked several combinations he liked.”
Victoria’s Secret is no secret, writes Mr. Beck. “What impresses me about this store most is that it’s designed a specific shopping experience for women that is unique to that brand. Colleagues say the goal at Victoria’s Secret, which of course specializes in women’s lingerie, is to get men out of the store quickly with a purchase, but to get women to pick up multiple items to try on and then buy.”
To achieve this goal, writes Mr. Beck, Victoria’s Secret has focused in part on the dressing room experience. “Many stores have policies that are engineered to discourage shoplifting and create controls; you’ve all seen signs limiting you to three items in a dressing room. But Victoria’s Secret has a different approach. It understands that once a woman is committed to undressing and trying on undergarments, it’s a big deal if she has to get dressed again to retrieve additional items. She wants to bring all the items that interest her into the dressing room at once. Victoria Secret employees are also stationed near the dressing rooms to bring customers other sizes and styles and enhance the shopping experience.”
Moderator’s Comment: What lessons do you think the three retailers in the San Antonio Express-News column have to offer others about building
shopper loyalty? Are there other retailers who offer lessons on how to go about developing loyal customers? How do they do it?
– George Anderson – Moderator
- Dave Beck: Best retailers offer lessons for the taking –
San Antonio Express-News (free reg. required)