Two Shops To Run – Party Time! 2000/1

  1. Rob
  2. October 30, 2010 8:39 pm

November 2000. The second shop opened with a suitable fanfare, things were looking good. I decided to have a “proper” party to celebrate the new store’s opening. With the help of a PR company I was working with, we secured the use of the VIP lounge at what was one ofthe most happening clubs of the day in London – Sugar reef. Some of our favourite customers were invited, along with our pals from Armani, Diesel, Hope & Glory, D&G and other suppliers. The night was a massive success and created a real buzz around the Bagga brand. Because it was such a great night, more Bagga parties followed, just for the fun of it, at clubs including Red Cube and a brilliant little venue underneath the cinammon club in Westminster. We were charging around £15 a head for the latter parties, and the buzz benefitted the business in a big way.

Running two shops was never a bed of roses. It was a lot of fun but really, really hard work. A lot of retailers assume that having two shops will earn you twice the money – not the case at all. With hindsight (always a wonderful thing), I believe you should either concentrate on one store, and seek to absolutely maximise it’s potential, or to grow a “mini chain” of four or five shops, so an additional tier of management can be brought in.

Paul Smith Jeans was dropped at around this time, as I had issues with over-distribution at the time. Paul Smith was, and is an awesome brand, and always sold through well, but I was very upset by Paul Smith’s decision to open with another retailer in the same town as my Bexleyheath store. The Paul Smith brand has really pulled it out the bag in the last couple of seasons in terms of design, quality and pricing. If I was still in the business it would definitely be on my wish list again. To drop a brand like Paul Smith was a massive decision, but was the right thing to do at the time. It gave me the confidence to replace brands so our brand mix was continually evolving and improving. We were at the stage where brands were approaching us, and we no longer had to beg and nag to secure them.

There are very few brands that I would have liked to have worked with but didn’t over the years; Vivienne Westwood would have been nice to have experimented with, as would D Squared. But we had the cream of the most sought-after brands in the UK;
Evisu, Armani jeans, Diesel Jeans, G Star, Pringle, Hope & Glory, D&G Jeans, Versace and loads more – the envy of most aspiring new Menswear stores at the time.

Inevitably, boredom kicked in again pretty soon, and a new challenge presented itself, as Bagga became a pioneer, in 2000, of online sales of Designer Menswear……

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