Topic: Retail Sales

Ski Resorts, Are You Missing the Luxury Retail Market?

By Bob Phibbs

ski resort village retailAre you missing the luxury retail sales that should come easily with your location in a ski resort town or village?

The ski resort industry generates approximately $4 billion in revenue each year. In addition to the market for lift tickets and lodging, the typical resort comes complete with myriads of retail stores that cater to the luxury retail market of the more privileged.

Ski resort hotels are averaging a 5% increase year-over year. With the clientele that frequent ski resort towns, retail shops in these villages should easily flourish, but that isn’t always the case.

I went to one not long ago that looked one step away from an outlet center. That makes a place easy to skip on next year' vacation plans.

Understanding luxury retail sales is the key to attracting the luxury shopper. The well-to-do vacationer enjoys the resort because they have all of their recreation passions in one place – sport, food, drink, and of course shopping. While you have a built in audience for your product, it’s important that you understand how the luxury sales client approaches the shopping experience.

By understanding their experience, you can create an environment that is so natural, they won’t want to miss their time with you.

Living in luxury means vacationing in luxury, if wi-fi is missing or spotty you'll lose repeat business. No one truly goes away to "get away from it all" anymore.

If they walk into your retail establishment and it reminds them of Rodeo drive, they will be happy to spend money. They expect you to be gracious to their arrival, and to present yourself to them on an equal footing.

If they meet a ski resort village whose retail looks like an old strip center at home, they'll walk right past, no matter how many discounts and sales are screaming from the merchant windows.

In short, if their experience doesn’t give them the same comfort as shopping at home, they will quickly move on and forget shopping with you - ever.

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Is the retail store aesthetically pleasing? Is it brightly lit and well maintained so it looks like something is happening in there? Or does it look like the party moved on?

Your retail exterior is the cover by which you will be judged. It needs to draw customers in so comfortably they would never consider NOT shopping there.

Once inside, is the shop well lit and inviting? Are the fixtures clean and appealing? With the luxury sales client, they expect your shop to be as well kept as their home. In addition to the fixtures and lights holding their own to scrutiny, is the merchandise up to par?

Vacationers will pay higher than average prices, and will and do impulse shopping. By having the merchandise displayed well and in a sensible configuration, your luxury sales client will feel at home and will want to spend money.

Most important than the appearance of your shop is the appropriateness of your client service staff. Are they ready to greet the customer, yet know when to step back when to let them browse and how to sell your luxury goods?

Your staff should be as inviting as the physical space to make the luxury sales client feel at home. And that what draws them back year after year.

Getting your luxury retail up to par means taking that step back to see what needs to be done. Let me show you how you can make that shopping experience one that will bring your luxury sales customer back the next day and the next year.

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