Retail Is Not Dead. It Is Evolving.
But admittedly, it is feeling a bit stale.
The biggest question is, How do you evolve with it?
Our Retail Merchandising Company Empowers You to Scale Your Business AND Redefine Retail.
As your Merchandising Managers, our Retail + E-commerce Merchandising Consultants drive retail and wholesale sales and brand longevity by infusing strategy and innovation into every area of your business operations.
We Have Had The Pleasure Of Driving Results For
Billion In Client Revenue
Fortune - Ranked Companies
Small & Med Businesses
We Work With Retail Visionaries.
Our retail industry is constantly evolving. The headlines about companies downsizing or going out of business seem to be rampant. However, the retail companies that are thriving are the retailers and brands leading the charge in innovation, omnichannel retailing, product mix curation – and who consistently and authentically serve their customers how, when, and where they demand.
Our diverse, global team consists of millennial fashion students and graduates, as well as seasoned retail industry experts from all walks of life. Our Retail Merchandising Company brings the fresh, strategically innovative, “up with the times” perspective that is ever so needed to not only be competitive, but to dominate today’s retail landscape.
Let’s be transparent – office politics, and “but what we’re doing is working”, and “it’s how we’ve always done it” often stands in the way of new, game-changing ideas and products. We ensure that innovation is thread throughout your operations and in the core of your DNA to ensure that you are seen as a retail destination or magnetizing brand for years to come. We are your partners who will literally search the ends of the Earth to find the next thing that will explode your business. We are your eyes and ears outside of the office.
Our impact, as a retail merchandising company, expands beyond borders, our strategies unprecedented, and methods sometimes unconventional – but this what it takes to break out from the masses and become the retail destination you are purposed to be. We are an seamless extension of your team, empowering you to be at the forefront of the evolution of retail.
The future of retail is YOU.
How We Work With You To Innovate Retail and Grow Your Sales
Our project approach is affectionately named The E.V.O.L.V.E. method:
E Evaluate the current state of your business through a comprehensive brand audit – reviewing your product assortment, sales and inventory reports, website / store merchandising, and current assortment plans
V Validate our analysis of your brand audit with research + focus groups regarding your brand positioning within the greater industry
O Organize our findings into actionable tasks, conduct international business and trend research, and together, establish our vision for your business’s future to create the strategic merchandising plan we will execute
L Leverage our global network of millennial fashion graduates, seasoned industry experts, branding designers, and international retail partners to enhance and expand your brand market share
V Verify that our strategic plan is working effectively and results are as expected – and course-correct areas of improvement
E Experience a new way ahead for your business, with us as strategic partners in your retail success
Our Retail Merchandising Company Will Expertly Guide You To Be The Breath of Fresh Air That Retail Needs
As Your Merchandising Managers, Here Is What We Will Work On With You
01 Brand Exploration
Brand Concept + Customer Persona
We truly drill down to your vision for the brand. We will define who your brand is – what is your brand persona? Who is your target customer? Where does that customer live, work, play, their hobbies, discretionary income, etc? What are key words that describe your brand? Who are your competitors? The full picture is created here so we can fully understand who your business needs to serve through your product assortment.
For our Retail Merchandising Company to have a holistic view of your brand, we conduct a comprehensive brand audit – reviewing your product assortment, sales and inventory reports, website / store merchandising, and current assortment plans.
Once we have a clear picture of your brand from your company’s perspective, we conduct research to understand the perception of your brand from the customer’s perspective. This can include focus groups, surveys, article research, and customer reviews.
02 Merchandising Strategy
Having an in-depth understanding of your sales strategy and sales reporting is critical to ensuring you make purposeful decisions in your business. You must understand what metrics to look at and when, how to spot a positive or negative trend in your sales and action to it, and how to create new streams of sales revenue. If you are needing more than what your current sales reports are providing, we will make new reports for you that pull in all data needed to make strategic decisions.
A critical part of analyzing your sales is establishing attributes for your assortment: Style, Trends, Price bands, Design Details, Fabrics, Textures, Colors, Finishes, Sleeve Length, and the list continues. The more attributes your products have, the deeper you can dig into their selling and the smarter your decisions become. We will help you establish attributes for all of your past, current, and future products.
Before you purchase merchandise or materials, you must have a financial plan and inventory strategy in place. This involves establishing your sales and gross margin plan by year / month / week, for every item currently in your line and future items you want to bring in.
Without this plan, you will not know how much inventory you need to purchase and sell to hit your goals, and will not be able to make revenue-driven decisions.
Trend and Design Advising
Businesses with an in-house design team require full product lifecycle management, from design to sample making to technical fittings, to landing the products in their warehouse. We consult with you on what’s trending in your industry, the “must haves” for your new collection, and provide feedback on design concepts and samples. We will even accompany you to the factories to see the samples in person.
We will travel domestically and internationally to help you source products that fit your target clientele’s desires, consult with you on negotiating terms with the vendors, make sure that you’re purchasing enough items to hit your sales plans. Every merchandise purchase you make should be based on your sales history and where the industry is trending.
Retail is being driven by small businesses (98% of retail in fact). If you don’t have a local assortment strategy for your store, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Our Retail Merchandising Company will source indie brands that your target customers would love, from within and outside of the United States. We will also help onboard them as a vendor and all of their items into your systems.
We will work with you to ensure you have the right product mix to hit your sales goals, that your merchandise is priced right, and that your shop is optimized for sales. For brands, that involves ensuring that you are developing updates to your best sellers, and chasing emerging trends. For e-commerce stores, that involves ensuring that the taxonomy of the site allows for a seamless shopping experience. For retailers, this involves ensuring your store is merchandised in a way that allows for ease of shopping.
Promotional & Markdown Merchandise Management
Although we use strong sales data and industry research to make all decisions, there will always inevitably be some “misses” with some products which forces us to promote the items at a lower price or mark them down as clearance. These misses could be for various reasons – quality issues, trend dying out, item competing against a similar item in your line, etc. In any promotional merchandise situation, the end goal is to preserve as much margin as possible.
We carefully analyze each slow selling item to understand the cause, and assign a promotional price to the item and evaluating the margin impact. We then roll up all of the items to understand the total margin impact, and ensure that we do not exceed your margin plan that you set for that time period.
03 The Visuals
If you’re looking to re-brand, our designers will move into interpreting your new brand characteristics in a visual way. We will provide:
- Logo design (will provide 3+ concepts and 2 revision rounds after concept direction is chosen)
- Business card design (will provide 3 concepts and 2 revision rounds after concept direction is chosen)
We’ll then develop brand guidelines for you. This is your handbook for how to properly express your brand: where and how to use the logo, colors, fonts and just as importantly, how NOT to use them, in order to consistently communicate your message. We will proceed to provide:
- Hang tag design
- Shopping bag design
- Promotional insert design
- Signage design
- Any additional brand collateral you may need
Styling + Art Direction
Now having updated brand guidelines, we will concept, plan, and produce a brand photo shoot with your new, fresh look, also including any carryover products that need to be reshot.
04 Process Enhancement
Consolidation + Optimization
Put your growth in our more-than-capable hands.
DeAnna exceeded my expectations in helping me prepare, plan and execute my brand's trade show debut
I'm so happy I got to meet and know DeAnna while preparing for a trade show. I found her to be incredibly knowledgeable and supportive during a period of uncertainty for me. She exceed my expectations in helping me prepare, plan and execute my brands trade show debut and provided a comprehensive trade show manual. She continues to be a source of sound counsel & guidance.
DeAnna runs a world class business.
DeAnna runs a world class business. I was in need of expanding the details in my business plan and pitch deck. DeAnna and her team blew me away! The Affinity Group International, by far exceeded what was asked and delivered in exceptional time a business plan and pitch deck ready to take my company to the next level. Looking forward to our continued working relationship.
DeAnna helped us establish data-informed product development targets.
DeAnna is a hard and thoughtful worker who loves diving into data fearlessly. She is design savvy, fun to work with, and not afraid to bring new ideas and insights to the table. At Capital, she helped us establish data-informed product development targets to make sure that we were bringing the right mix of products to our next launch. She also explored trends in the industry, reaching out to customers and travelling to trade markets to keep the pulse of styles and designs that are relevant to our company. Her varied work experiences and blend of fashion / style interest with data / numbers insights makes her a unique asset to any team, and I would definitely work with her again!
To say DeAnna was critical to the business’ success is an understatement.
DeAnna was the most detailed, proactive and positive person I have ever had work for me. To say she was critical to the business’ success is an understatement. Anybody who has the pleasure of her on their team is truly fortunate.
DeAnna Explores Win-Win Solutions.
I worked with DeAnna when she was a Merchant at Chico's FAS and we were one of the key suppliers. DeAnna has clearly demonstrated her professionalism during our collaboration. She has been open to new ideas, willing to explore win-win solutions, not only solving problems but at the same time creating values to both parties. I personally look forward to having a chance to work with her again.
DeAnna Is A Strong Merchant and Business Woman.
I worked with DeAnna at Chico's FAS where was was the Merchant of Woven Tops. I found DeAnna to be a very strong merchant and business woman. She was frequently utilized to teach and train the merchandising team on system functionality and best practices and was a great resource. She had a strong work ethic and was a trusted and respected member of the team. DeAnna did the work of 2-3 people in reality many times. I also know she is very entrepreneurial and creative, traits which are great to possess! DeAnna excels at what she does!
Case Studies + Our Journal
Driving Results For Retailers + Brands Worldwide
Global Retail Consultant, DeAnna McIntosh, at the world’s third largest mall Central World in Bangkok, Thailand doing trend research.
“DeAnna is a hard and thoughtful worker who loves diving into data fearlessly. She is design savvy, fun to work with, and not afraid to bring new ideas and insights to the table. At Capital, she helped us establish data-informed product development targets to make sure that we were bringing the right mix of products to our next launch. She also explored trends in the industry, reaching out to customers and travelling to trade markets to keep the pulse of styles and designs that are relevant to our company. Her varied work experiences and blend of fashion / style interest with data / numbers insights makes her a unique asset to any team, and I would definitely work with her again!”