LBB – Little Black Boots

One thing I noticed while I was holidaying in Melbourne is that majority of the sales assistants in the boutiques I visited had a pair of black ankle boots with a cute little heel on them. I could not get over how many of them were walking around and in all manner of different styles and materials. Seeing this sparked a search for my very own pair of black boots; because, let’s face it, they looked comfy and I too work in retail and figured “might as well join them”.

Tony Bianco Devon boots in black diesel/black wax

After much searching and nearly buying a cute pair from Topshop (until I decided I could not be bothered wading through the crowd to get to a sales assistant) I came across an amazing pair at Santini in Flinders Lane. Funnily enough, when I looked inside to find the brand I discovered they were Tony Bianco boots – I think they have a magnetic hold on me.

Tony Bianco Devon boots in Fudge diesel/choc wax

The name of the boots is Devon and they’re part of the current collection available in Tony Bianco stores, stockists and their online store. Unfortunately both Santini and Tony Bianco Melbourne Central had no 5.5s in stock so I had to order them online but by doing so I saved close to $30. The boots retail at $179.95 AUD but with my gold VIP discount and $11.93 in loyalty points built up, the boots came down to $150.03 – bargain!

Tony Bianco Devon boots in black diesel/black wax, Country Road top worn as dress, Diva necklace, Dinosaur Designs bangle

They arrived in my mail box yesterday and even though I had nowhere to go I walked around the house in them all day. So far, it seems like the girls at Santini was right: they’re super comfortable and kind of fun to wear as well. I have many a black dress that they’ll go nicely with (including my new Country Road top which is a dress on me, pictured above) as well as cute denim shorts (which my Nan protested would look too provocative) and other floaty dresses.

They come in other colours such as a nice midnight blue suede, a nice fudge (see the second picture) as well as an awesome choc diesel. You know you want a pair, so head to either www.tonybianco.com.au or www.santini.com.au and get in on the Melbourne retail assistant trend so that you’ve got a nicely broken in before winter hits (which is unfortunately forever away for us Aussies – especially those of us who live above Brisbane!)

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Unhappy shoppers

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It seems as though no matter what retailers do right now, the Australian public is not happy.

I recently read an article on News.com.au about retailers trying to encourage people to spend at the Boxing Day sales. In the comments section below, people were talking about how ripped off the poor average Aussie is and how tough they’re doing it while retailers and high earning white collar people are lapping it up. What I don’t think many people realize is that unlike America, Australia’s labour market is no where near as cheap and therefore as competitive. Cheap labour in America means mark-up does not need to be as high and when you add in that a large amount of goods are manufactured in the US or in China (and it’s relatively cheap to import to the US from China) it really helps keep the cost of goods down.

In Australia, we have a higher minimum wage, therefore in order to cover all your expenses (including import cost which is usually more expensive for Australia because we’re relatively far away from most other developed countries) mark up if often higher and goods are not as competitive compared to the US.

I don’t much of the public realizes this and when they complain about the price of our goods and encourage buying online from overseas companies, I don’t think they realize they’re making the situation worse in a way. It’s the little things that often count the most and the continual trend of shoppers buying online will eventually send some retailers broke. Even buying online from Australia companies is bad in a way. Online stores don’t need as many staff and can be more efficient at their job simply because they are not dealing with customers face to face. Online stores can offer goods cheaper because they can often buy a good in bulk and then distribute it for a cheap retail price due to their lack of expenses (lower staff costs, no cost of attractive fixtures and fittings, lower rent etc).

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Unfortunately some local retailers might be slow on picking up on the fact that they need to prove their worth to the public instead of sitting around in their empty stores pulling sad faces. Eventually even the big boys will realize they need to offer exception customer—the one thing online stores can only offer in a certain way. In one of the last stores I worked in we were encouraged to suggest things to customers that they might like or look good on them. More often than not they appreciated it and bought what you suggested. They would start coming in last minute needing a dress for an event that night knowing we could pick something off the rack for them that would be both appropriate and flattering. It’s something chain stores need to encourage their staff to do. And not just, pick the news shirt and show it to everyone. People will only appreciate you up selling them if it’s something in their taste. You just about need to analyze your customer’s outfit and mannerisms upon entering the store in order to work out their style and even socio-economic background before you lead them to something they’ll dislike. Get it right once and they’ll keep coming back. Get it wrong too many times and they’ll never respect your opinion.

As someone who has always worked in retail yet understand a bargain I know saying this won’t change many people’s habits. I do recommend however that you remain loyal to the stores you love most and who provide you great customer service. It might be your local boutique, it might be a good branch of a franchise or chain store—whatever it is remain loyal to them and both of you will benefit in the long run!

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The first tentative step into online shopping

Yes, it finally happened. I made my first online clothes purchase today and it was a little bit scary. Not only because I hope the AUD$171 True Religion denim shorts I bought fit, but also because I hope I don’t become one of those people who become addicted to online shopping – especially considering my bank account barely manages as it is!

 

True Religion Joey Cut Off Thigh High Short in Dakota Sky Dark

 

Ever since I discovered Revolveclothing.com (where I purchased the True Religion shorts) I’ve been fascinated by the range of options that are on offer. The city (or rather, town) where I live has only a fraction of these brands, therefore the online world opens up a whole new realm of options. As someone who works in retail, it does make me feel bad. I feel like I’m cheating on my favourite and most trustworthy stores.

 

See by Chloe Girls Make Boys Crazy T-Shirt as shown on asos.com

 

 

But perhaps this is the strange in-between stage experienced by many when they start shopping online. Perhaps my uncertainty about my self-sizing abilities will drift away and my hunger for more unique brands at better prices will start to thrive. For now and until I’ve been and returned from Japan, I’m keeping any online shopping cravings reigned in close. However, you never know, I may become an avid online shopper in the future. Only time will tell!

Cigarettes and Visual Merchandising

A local mens store in my city currently has a manikin in the window with a paper bag on its head, drawn on facial-features and a cigarette glued to its sharpie-drawn mouth. Next to it is a female manikin trying to kiss/make out with paper-bag-dude.
I’m sorry but that is by no means a good window display. I’ve seen manikins styled in many ways – some stores have them pretending to run, but these manikins took it to another level. They looked cheap and tacky. The clothes on the manikin are nice, so it’s a shame you get too distracted by the cigarette to look at them. If you want to be edgy, different, attention grabbing, think of something other than a paper bag and a cigarette. Please, I beg of you!

Re-entering the blog world

After my lecturer gave my broadcast journalism class a large lecture about not using any of the wide range of mediums out there to improve our writing abilities; I have been bullied back into the blogging world. Probably a good idea, considering I’ve only managed a handful distinctions.

Now I used to have a blog, but that was a while ago. I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t being put too much use considering I have a hectic work and uni schedule.

That being said, I should probably tell you a bit about myself. I’m Rosie. A second year Bachelor or Business/Bachelor of Journalism student. I have a mild obsession with fashion and I plan to become a fashion journalist and eventually own my own retail boutique. At the moment, I’m employed by one of the higher fashion menswear stores in the city, which is linked to two higher fashion womenswear stores (one of which I was originally employed by before they swapped me to the mens store, the other which I cover the lunch shift for) and a shoe store (which I used to look after when I was employed by one of the Womenswear stores).

Chances are this blog will mostly be about fashion, occasionally business (probably economics considering its my major for business) and then some other random stuff. I’m still getting back into this, so I have no idea how to write or how to make this sounds riveting, so bare with me.

I only have one article published so far, but this is the link to it:

http://www-public.jcu.edu.au/jcnn/music/JCUPRD1_055257