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Here are all the posts in our Forum/Blog on the topic of Business: mail order...

Kim P    Saturday 13 May 2017 at 19:20

 Post #494 



 
Subject: Designer Shop Stocking Plus Size Clothing

 
I have recently visited Tavistock in Devon and was pleased to find a shop selling both standard and plus size clothing including a few favourites from Emma Plus Angel Circle and Tomo.

It is Brigid Foley, 8a Paddons Row, Tavistock 01822 612048

Brigid is a lovely lady and the shop had a nice feel to it and included being offered a coffee upon arrival.
They also do mail order

www.brigidfoley.co.uk

 

Emma    Monday 22 February 2016 at 08:53

 Post #467 



 
Subject: Shoptiques

The model has been recruited, the stock has been selected. Our shop has been turned into a part -time photographic studio. The photos have been taken, selected and edited. We are now on the starting block for a new way of trading.

I've been on record for years as having reservations about selling online -there are a number of disadvantages. In my opinion, there is simply no comparison with actually being able to come into a fashion shop, try everything on, and make an informed choice as to what to by.

''Being able to come into a fashion shop '' is a bit of a rub. Not everyone, at every time, is able to come into our little shop, here on the south coast of England. For these people, buying online is not a choice, but a necessity.

However, there has been an enormous growth in the other kind of online shopping -people who DO choose to shop this way, simply because they enjoy it. Sitting at home, (perhaps furtively ) at work, or sipping coffee in a café, browsing the Internet for something gorgeous for the weekend -it's the modern way of life.

Luckily, many of my initial objections to selling online appear to have been met by the American website, Shoptiques. It's a company that really knows it's stuff. It deals exclusively with small boutiques like ourselves, and provides the practical solutions that allow us to maintain the exclusivity, quality and choice that we feel is so important.

I'm very excited about it, and really hope that it works for us. Diversity and equality of opportunity in the world of fashion is something that we are passionate about. Shoptiques should help us enable more women access to better and more fitting fashion, no matter where they are, or how they choose to shop.

I will keep you posted as to when we go live!

 

Emma    Wednesday 03 February 2016 at 18:00

 Post #464 



 
Subject: Our Photographic Studio

We had the best time at the weekend, transforming our store into a photographic studio in preparation for our new Shoptiques venture.

We will soon be putting photographs of our stock online through the fantastic Shoptiques.com website, where customers can browse exclusive designer clothes from fantastic boutiques all over the world.

We are delighted to have been invited to join their website, and are so excited to be able to offer our more distant customers the opportunity to buy online from us-something that has been denied to them in the past.

We will be inviting people to email us at emma.plus@yahoo.com to tell us of any clothes that they are particularly seeking, in order for us find it in stock, or obtain it and post it on Shoptiques for them to buy. An amazing system, and a useful service.

 

Sheila Cameron    Saturday 02 July 2011 at 16:02

 Post #222 



 
Subject: Gift Vouchers by Mail Order

 
This is my first attempt at blogging, so forgive me if I have got it all wrong.
My daughter-in-law is one of those girls who is a nightmare when it comes to buying a gift for. So after hours of trawling the net, & at my sons suggestion, I found the Emma Plus web-site.
As I live in London, I was hoping to be able to purchase some gift vouchers online, but this service wasn't available, so I phoned the store. The staff couldn't have been more helpful, even though it was the fist time that they had received such a request. I telephoned on Thursday & the vouchers arrived this morning (Saturday).
Thank you Emma Plus for your fast efficient A+ customer service.
May I Request that one day, in the not to distant future, you add this as a regular service.
Once again, my heartfelt thanks.
Kind regards
Sheila Cameron

 

 Emma    Sunday 03 July 2011 at 17:36

 
Dear Sheila,

Thank you for your post, and very helpful suggestion! Yes, we will definitely be offering this service as soon as we can. I will speak to my IT supremo, to see whether we can set something up on our website.

Many of our most regular customers were first brought in by a gift voucher given to them, which was the first they had ever heard of us. In these instances, the gift is double: not only do they get a new piece of designer clothing, but they are shown a new shop, and a whole new avenue of fashion!

I think that gifts like this are particularly thoughtful, because they mean a person has gone out of their way to find something really special, and has had the imagination and tenacity to seek out what their friend or family member really wants.

Very often, the receiver of these gifts didn't even know what gorgeous fashion there was available to them until the first day that they walked into our shop, voucher in hand.....

 

Emma    Friday 03 December 2010 at 12:04

 Post #179 



 
Subject: Gift vouchers!

It’s December, and the thoughts of many people are turning to the exciting, yet sometimes thorny subject of Christmas presents.

At this time of year we usually see friends, partners or family members surreptitiously entering our shop, discreetly seeking out the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Some people worry that buying clothing for a larger woman can be a bit difficult. Most of us do not like to reveal our size to all and sundry – even our nearest and dearest – and, of course, there is the issue of fit when clothes are bought without having been tried on. So there are many people who would love to buy clothes from Emma Plus or elsewhere for someone special in their lives, but find the prospect of it somewhat complicated!

The truth is, buying a present from us is actually quite problem free! Although (as a true English person) I hate to blow my own trumpet, I can’t help mentioning that I think we are passed-masters at helping with the selection of the perfect present. We have items of clothing for just about any larger woman, and we have a lot of experience in asking the right questions. We are also very adept at remembering the requirements of many of our established customers.

To put it mildly, our sizing can be very discreet, often with husband only aware that we have sold him a ‘size small’ for his wife! Unsurprisingly, many in the know make the pilgrimage every year to our shop to pick up a present from us, in the knowledge that we will recommend an array of lovely items from with to select their perfect choice.

As a fail-safe, anyone who buys items from us is welcome to bring them back within the season in order to exchange them, should they need to, and our alteration service extends (of course) to items bought as gifts. Many of our customers are really touched that someone has really paid attention to them to the extent of specially seeking out ‘their shop’ from which to buy their present.

Another great favourite for a present is a gift voucher. It is a real delight to watch a customer stride purposefully through the door in the New Year, with a glint in her eye, and a gift voucher in her purse! Our vouchers come in denominations of £10, £25, £50 and £100.

Because we are aware that some people are a little behind this year in getting their presents (due to the inclement weather), we have decided to do something we have never done before... a special offer on gift vouchers! For every £50 in vouchers bought this December, we will give an extra £10. At an unprecedented 20%-off, we have produced a limited edition of gift vouchers, which are being sold strictly on a first-come-first-served basis, and you will need to quote this Blog when you purchase. We will happily supply these vouchers by post in time for Christmas. You only have to telephone us on 01273 327240.

How pleasant to be able to find a thoughtful, appropriate present (with added value!), without even having to leave the house!

 

 Kim P    Friday 10 December 2010 at 13:17

 
This is a fabulous deal! My vouchers arrived this morning and they are a gift from me to me!

 

 Emma    Friday 10 December 2010 at 17:04

Hi Kim

Yes, it is such a good deal that we have had to do it as a 'limited edition'! The truth is that a wise woman (but only one who reads this blog regularly!) can end up getting 20 percent extra off her sale purchases after Christmas, or from new season's stock!

It's a special treasure reserved for our blog customers... and they don't even have to come into the store!
 

Wardah J Bakr (Saidi)    Tuesday 01 June 2010 at 01:21

 Post #138 



 
Subject: Locals who carry any of your line?

 

Hi Ms. Emme,
I am in the US and expect to retire soon. I plan to return to the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) hopefully in 2012. I was hoping that perhaps there were some places here in the USA that possibly carry maybe a few of your items? Thanks!

 

 Emma    Tuesday 01 June 2010 at 10:32

Hi Wardah

Thank you for asking this question on the forum. It's one I get asked a lot, and I really think it will help to have the answer to this connundrum here!

As we do not produce clothes, and exist only as a retailer, it's arguable that we actually have a 'line' as such. The collection we have is a selection from all the designer's lines that we carry. We don't sell to anyone other than our own customers (yet), so in some ways we would not be able to help you, unless you were here in our store.

However, as usual, nothing is quite as simple as this... nor as disappointing. If I were in a different part of the world and found that I really liked the content of a website like ours, I would use it as the base for a bit of research.

I would start to look through the designer names that the store stocks. For instance, if you see an image on my site that you like, then find out the designer's name (you can always post on the forum - we are always more than happy to help). So then you'll have the name of a designer that you know you like (for the sake of argument let's say Anna Scholz).

The next step would be to Google that name. This would bring up Anna's website. Some designers actually sell directly from their websites, so you now have access to their range!

But we all know that buying mail-order really is not a very good way to acquire designer clothes, so your next step would be to ask this designer if they sell to an outlet in the region of your choice.

If they do, then you have struck gold. Because if that store sells one really good collection, they probably sell others! In a single swoop you may have homed-in on one of the only stores in the entire country that sells what you like. If this first attempt fails, try again until you are successful. I do believe that, using this technique, you will turn up the best stores in any location now.

Hoorah for the internet!
 

 Kim P    Thursday 03 June 2010 at 11:06

 
It was through viewing the stockists listed on the Anna Scholz website that I discovered Emma Plus!

 

 Emma    Thursday 03 June 2010 at 21:28

Hi Kim-

And the rest is history!
 

Diane    Sunday 28 February 2010 at 19:23

 Post #116 



 
Subject: mail order

 
Hi Emma, Found your website and after browsing through ticked five of your beautiful outfits to order and then found you do not do mail order. I am shocked that you have decided not to offer this service. I am a retailer and after umming and ahhing I eventually decided to offer mail order and was amazed that the orders are pouring in and overtaking the shop orders. I hope you one day change your mind and will keep checking back just in case. If I ever get to Brighton I will of course come and see you, but like many women do not have much spare time. Kind regards

 

 Emma    Tuesday 02 March 2010 at 09:22

Hi Dianne

Thank you for your post, and interest in our range. This is a very big and complicated subject for us, and one which I am sure will run and run.

We would indeed like to do some internet selling some time in the future, and if you do, as you mention you may, look at our blog every now and again, you will be one of the first to get notice of what we will be offering.

The sad fact is, though, that what we will be able to offer as a mail-order service will be only a tiny part of what we are able to offer in our actual store! There are many reasons for this - so many and complex that I could probably write hundreds of words on the subject, and still not come close to expressing it clearly!

Over the years I have had this discussion many times with customers and, in the main, it has been very difficult to convey what makes a real-life living and breathing large-size designer store so special. Usually, the customers involved in these discussions have eventually come into our store, and have exclaimed that only then have they finally understood what I meant!

Our shop has thousands of different styles, bought in tiny numbers. This means that a customer will rarely see the same thing twice. It also means that there is a wide choice, and the look that is put together by them is usually quite unique. Our sales staff are experienced stylists who not only help with the selection of the outfit, but contribute hugely with their knowledge of body shape, and how this relates to the stylistic choice. Many of our customers mention the fact that they had ended up looking at their best in items that they would not have initially been inclined to try on.

Obviously if the customer wishes to be left alone by sales staff they are free to make their own selection without being bothered by unwanted attention, but in the event most customers make use of our styling skills.

When the selection is made, the majority of our clothes will then be tailored by our alteration service to fit the individual customer. It is a rare woman who is a perfect 'stock size' and shape! This alteration process can be a revelatory experience. Many larger women will have never before had a garment that has truly fitted them, and shown off their figure to best effect. After the alterations have been completed, they are usually sent on to the customer by post, and neither the alterations nor the postage are charged for.

This all takes place in a social and comfortable space - it is like a club, and most people report really enjoying just being in the store.

I do appreciate that it is very difficult for customers to travel so far to get to us. In fact, it used to be a matter of amazement to me that customers will come from all over the country to reach our store. However, I have come to understand that this is because it is the only way that many women can get the really beautiful clothes they really want. It is incredible that there are so few stores that stock excellent larger sized clothes in this country.

When we do our mail-order range, we will focus on excellence of clothing (we hope to do some gorgeous knits and jerseywear in the future), but there will be no question of anything like the variety, fit, individuality, tailoring, or personal service that we can offer in the store.

These are characteristics of a special and rare shopping experience. The internet is a fantastic, precious resource in the larger-size market, and it is the way that Emma Plus has been able to grow into what it is today (to the benefit of all our customers). However, the internet is not good at providing individual, tailored, personal, special and rare clothing for larger women.
 

Christina    Saturday 28 March 2009 at 18:45

 Post #22 



 
Subject: Young, Short and Curvy

 
Hi there,

I found your site some time early last year and always tried to make it down to Brighton, but I have never managed it. I think part of the reason is that I am afraid I will not find anything that I like. I am 33 years old, short (5 ft 1) and very curvy - size 18, big boobs, defined waist. I always struggle in stores that cater specifically for plus size because the clothes are too long and not really suitable for someone in their 30's as the styles are more for older women.

Can you recommend any items from your collections for a young and modern girl? I would also LOVE to wear jeans. I only tend to wear them when I have lost weight, but rather than hold off for weight loss again, I would love to find some nice, flattering, comfortable jeans for my short legs and big bum - any suggestions?

Many thanks
Christina

 

 Emma    Monday 30 March 2009 at 23:02

 
Hi Christina

Thank you for your post. I totally understand your predicament, and get behind where you’re coming from!

I think that you are suffering from several disadvantages. One is that really beautiful clothes in larger sizes do tend to be geared more towards women in their late thirties and upward, and the another is that many larger-sized clothes are designed for taller women.

Your problem is compounded by the fact that you are curvy, by which I mean that you have the kind of shape that really benefits from fitted clothes, rather than drapy ones.

Many companies that sell mail order specialise in more drapy styles, which are easier to fit a wide range of women, so minimising returns. To be honest, though, even if you were able to buy fitted styles by mail order, they would probably not fit you properly. This is because you would need to get the correct waist-to-hip ratio in the right place - not a particularly easy thing to do when you have to make your choice by looking at photographs of the clothes on six-foot tall, straight up and down models!

What really annoys me about your situation is it is not as if you are alone! The average size of a British woman is 16 (not a million miles from your size), and the average height is 5’4” - closer, in fact, to your height than it is to the aforesaid 6’ model. There are literally millions of women like you!

We have many customers who are in your predicament, although you may be a little small for us. We tend to specialise in size 20 or above - we do some 18s, but the selection is not so great. It’s true that we do have many middle-aged and older customers, but we also regularly have women in your age group, and younger, shopping with us.

The most important thing that we do is to offer an alteration service. This means that when you have selected the clothes that you want, we will fit them to your shape, and then send them on to you. This service is usually completely free.

I know that in the beginning some women don’t really want to have clothes altered. I can understand this. If it were possible to walk out of the shop with all your gorgeous clothes straight away, we would all wish to do it. Also, the first time that you have this done there is always an element of concern. What is involved in the alteration process - will it really work…?

However, after having clothes altered to fit their shape most women are completely hooked, and it’s one of the major reasons why women travel miles and miles to come to us.

I think that over a period of time you will come to find a selection of ranges that will suit your personality and body shape. The obvious choice for you would be Anna Scholz. Her look is young and sassy, and it is also fitted and sexy. It’s not cheap, though, and it will almost certainly need alterations (Anna Scholz herself is about 6’2”, and some of her clothes are long). Virtually every week that we have Anna Scholz items in stock we sell one to a curvy woman, and alter it to fit properly. This is how our seamstress earns her living!

When it comes to jeans, I would just find a pair that you like the look of, and get us to alter them so that you really like the fit. Then wear them every day until you get another pair altered for you, because when you have a pair of jeans fitted to you, you will not want to wear any other jeans.

I would always suggest that you - and women like you (i.e. young women who want plenty of choice) - should come in early in the season if you are able. Right now is a good time, and for the winter season, September/October is also good. What people don’t realise about small shops like ours is that we tend to get most of our collection in all at one time, and as the season goes by it sells through. This leaves a much-diminished choice later in the season. If independent designer clothes retailing were a game, the object of the game would be to sell everything before the end of July, and have a completely empty shop just before the winter season’s stock was delivered! Obviously this doesn’t happen, but the choice in July cannot be compared with the choice right now.

 

Arantza Baena Esandi    Friday 13 March 2009 at 05:50

 Post #17 



 
Subject: to buy

 
Hi Emma: I'm Spanish, from the north, just in San Sebastian (a lovely city). I would like to know if you can buy your clothes from here. I think very nice. You write with a traductor. Please tell me something soon. Thank you very much.

 

 Emma    Friday 13 March 2009 at 13:59

 
Dear Arantza

Thank you for your enquiry. I am glad you like our clothes. We are not set up for mail order at the moment. We want to do some in the future, however, so if you are interested then please add your details to our online mailing list and we will contact you at the appropriate time.

We do send out some clothes (we even have an existing customer in Spain), and are happy to do so. When we do this we are acting like a 'personal shopper'; that is to say, selecting the clothes we think a customer will like, in a size and fit that is right for them. This is usually very successful, with anything that is not right just being refunded.

My worry in your case is that, in order to do this, we usually spend some time chatting to our customers on the telephone and getting a really good idea of them and their requirements. From your post, I understand that you would need a 'traductor' - a translator - and I am concerned that the level of communication between us may not be good enough for a 'personal shopper' type relationship.

Of course I may be very wrong about this - your post was in excellent English. But I do not have any Spanish, I'm afraid. If you would like to talk to us (I'm so sorry, it has to be in English!) then please call 0044 1273 327240, and ask to speak to Jaq or Emma.

 

 Nicola Chapman    Tuesday 17 March 2009 at 14:33

 
Hola Artanza

Soy inglesa pero actualmente vivo en Madrid. Voy 2 veces al año para comprar toda mi ropa en Emma Plus porque siempre tienen muchas cosas para elegir. Aquí en españa no he encontrado muchos sitios donde se vende tallas grandes salvo en El Corte Ingles que es muy cara y la selección está limitada.

Si tienes la posibilidad de visitar a su tienda merece la pena y con el cambio entre el euro y la libra ahora sale más barato. Brighton tambien es una ciudad muy bonita para pasar un fin de semana!

Saludos
NICOLA

 

 Emma    Tuesday 17 March 2009 at 17:50

 
Hello Nicola

I would like to thank you so much for writing this post! For all those out there in cyberspace, Nicola is our customer who lives in Spain! She has taken the time to write to Artanza in Spanish.

I hope you don't mind, Nicola, if I just put a little translation of what you've said here, for the benefit of the English speakers!

'Hello Artanza

I am English but at present I live in Madrid. I go twice a year to buy all my clothes in Emma Plus because they always have many things to choose from. Here in Spain I have not found many places where large sizes are sold, except in The English Cut, which is very expensive and with a limited selection.

If you have the possibility to visit this store, it is worthwhile and with the changes between the euro and the pound, now it is cheaper. Brighton is a very pretty city to pass a weekend!

Greetings NICOLA'

 
 

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