For Evelyn Hammerström, the face and owner of famous Jades in Düsseldorf, the recipe for success for fashion stores lies primarily in a good mix of offer and professional service. A constant development in terms of trends at the pulse of time is absolutely essential to her. For 17 years, Hammerström has been operating the stationary business of the fashion institution Jades. In 2007, she then started with the e-commerce business, launching Jades24. With her many years of experience, she always has a special sense for trends and new designers. On her numerous journeys, she constantly collects new impressions; stagnation is for her an alien word. Here, Hammerström talked about the challenges and opportunities in fashion retail.
Why did you open your store? Tell us the story and your motivation!
In 2000, I and my business partner Reinhard Haase had the vision to bring the LA lifestyle to Düsseldorf. JADES started out with cool and rocking brands like Jaded by Night, Juicy Couture, Rock & Republic, True Religion and so on.
What’s especially important about the shop fitting and design for you?
We adapted the store design to the rocking LA theme. Starting with the sparkling world of rockstars paired with Buddhist influences. Shopping should be an event for the customer, with good advice and a unique atmosphere.
What does your assortment look like? What are the anchor brands? Which brands are new to the assortment?
Streetwear it-brands and denim brands like Off White, Mike Amiri, Unravel and R13 dominate our rather sportive business called more JADES, where we sell women’s and men’s wear. In our womenswear ship JADES we sell high fashion with focus on labels like Stella McCartney, Balmain, Lanvin, Isabel Marant, Alanui and The Elder Statesman.
New to the menswear assortment are Aviator Nation, CoH, Favela, Myths and Visvim for S/S 2017.
In the womenswear segment the focus was strongly placed on the USA and the rockstar look. New labels here are 3x1, The Elder Statesman, Alanui, Unravel, Off White, Yeezy, Lisa Marie Fernandez, Moussy, Mike Amiri, Local Authority LA, Kendall&Kylie, Adaptation and Zimmermann.
Which role do accessories play sales-wise and in the matter of merchandise?
Great accessories round up the assortment and complement every outfit. Furthermore, accessories and lifestyle products (such as candles, beauty products etc.) are good off-the-shelf products. Nevertheless, we continue focusing on ready-to-wear and accessories make the minor part of our sales.
Please name 5 products you couldn´t live without right now.
Bomber jackets, sneakers, jeans, leather pants as well as hoodies and sweatshirts. In spring, especially romantic maxi dresses become more paramount apart from the streetstyle.
How important are fairs for you? Where do you buy? Which fairs do you visit?
In Paris our buyers visit Tranoi, Capsule and Who’s Next; in Berlin they attend Premium, Seek and Show&Order. In Florence of course the Pitti Uomo is a must for the menswear buying.
Did you make more sales last year in comparison to the year before? What do you trace the fact back to?
In the past we had steady sales growth, after which we firstly generated a par last year. We are very content with this development.
What does the cost/revenue ratio from online sales and stationary retail look like? Which pays off more?
By now the online shop and stationary retail sales are even. But the online shop is way more expensive which is unintelligible to the stationary retail. However, the potential of an online shop is nowadays much bigger and expandable.
What does your store provide that others don’t? What’s your USP?
Jades stands for a good assortment mix from renowned and popular brands to limited editions and newcomer labels. A familial atmosphere and personal consultation as well as the fashion know-how of the employees should be our USP. Furthermore, we increasingly go back to the roots in our portfolio mix. At our store, the customers get the it-pieces they see in the media and on celebrities that they don’t get that fast at any other place. For example, The Elder Statesman, a popular cashmere company from the US. Rihanna loves their pullovers. The knit jackets by Alanui can also immediately be recognized from their great ethno graphics.
Is there some sort of role model store for you? Any shop worldwide that inspires you?
JADES gets its inspiration especially from LA, but also from Paris. Colette, Montaigne Market, Maxfield or Intermix – all of them are special stores and online retailers which inspire us.
Which are the biggest controversies and topics in retail right now?
The streetstyle hype is highly discussed at the moment. It’s not about the individual garment anymore. The look needs to be conveyed.
In winter it was the “Guccization”, in summer it’s the hype of stereotypes.
What are the biggest challenges in stationary retail right now?
The online boom and the vertical concurrency have left their mark in retail. The purchasing behavior changes rapidly through both of the factors. A good intuition and speed are decisive for success.
Which is the most important ingredient for successful retailing?
Individual advice and a unique shopping experience. The customer proximity should never be lost. Nowadays the customer especially appreciates that. This is also crucial for the online business. Everything needs to fit here. From brand portfolio, over logistics to the customer service.
What would you do differently today?
The connection between online business and stationary retail requires highest demands in the sectors purchasing, trend research and speed. Professionality in all fields is crucial for a skillful implementation of this connection.
The pressure of competition is very high, so the only consideration is if one would do the step to the virtual business again.