Andrea Schütz has been running her boutique Tutto in Frankfurt's Westend district for the past 20 years. The power woman clearly knows all the tricks of the trade when it comes to stationary retail. Here she talks about trends, bestselling labels and how a friendly atmosphere can work wonders. Interview by Maria Hunstig

What is the secret behind your success as a retailer?
It has been my aim from the very beginning to meet people with friendliness and openness and to create a warm atmosphere that dissolves my customers' inhibitions. This has always been appreciated. Our more conservative clients are grateful for a personable and friendly environment, which can come as a pleasant contrast to the arrogance sometimes exhibited in retail. Of course, having the right touch in buying is crucial as well.

Business looks or sportswear - which is the style of the moment?
It's clearly the casual styles that are defining trends and street looks of the moment, something that hasn't changed for years! I used to sell more business-oriented styles and even stocked high fashion brands such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, but I quit all that. Today my assortment is much more authentic with easy casual looks for every day.

Do people shop for individual styles or complete outfits?
We always try to encourage our customers to explore our entire assortment. It is very stimulating and appealing to both sides if a client leaves the shop with a complete outfit and pieces from five different product lines. People come back to the store because they know they can expect that kind of service here.

What are your current bestsellers?
At the moment, our bestselling labels are Humanoid, J Brand, Iro and Closed, which I have been stocking for 18 years in a row now. In terms of style, colors are a big thing, skinny denims are still selling well and oversized shirts are very popular, too.

Tutto, Frankfurt am Main
Tutto, Frankfurt am Main

How important is denim for your shop? Which denim labels run best?
I strongly believe in denim and find it very important for Tutto. My current favorites are J Brand, Mother and Dondup Jeans.

Where do you get your inspiration? How do you source your products?
I surf the Internet and look at blogs a lot and I work with a stylist from New York who keeps me updated on the latest trends. Travelling is also a very important source of inspiration. Visiting different shops and checking out street looks is always interesting. I don't visit many fairs, but I go to Premium in Berlin and keep my ordering appointments mostly in Düsseldorf.

What do you like about your location?
Our customers appreciate our location as it offers a more quiet and private atmosphere than the city center. Over the years, several other fashion and accessory shops have opened on our street and around the neighborhood, which I think is a nice addition and gives our clients even more of a reason to visit the area.

Do you run an online shop? How is it going?
We sell online via The sales numbers have been declining a bit recently. For us, what works best online is selling to existing customers who keep themselves updated about our latest products on our website. Our success clearly comes from our intimate and personal relationships with our clients.

Can you give any advice to other / future retailers?
Treat your customers with extreme friendliness, stand behind your assortment 100%, show a clear profile and identity and don't let short-term troubles get you down.

Read more about Andrea Schütz and her store Tutto in our upcoming German News publication!