VMSD - February 2012 - (Page 56)
Interview by Whitney Harrod
The founder and ceo of clothing and accessories boutique C. Wonder talks about his new, quirky brand for women.
Some people have dubbed C. Wonder “Kate Spade with Banana Republic prices.” Do you agree? I can understand the urge for customers to try to describe their experience by reaching for what they already know. But we have a personality and a product offering all our own. I have also heard C. Wonder described as “fun” and “quirky.” And that makes me happy. The store is designed as a luxurious, residential setting, complete with custom rugs, ottomans and dark mahogany tables. How did you decide on this environment for your audience? Who wouldn’t want to shop in a thoughtful, richly designed setting? We want to make great value synonymous with a luxurious environment. Why did you choose to launch the brand in New York? What made SoHo the right neighborhood for your first flagship? For our first location, we wanted to be close to home so we could perfect every element. We like SoHo because it’s a cross-section of customers, from visitors to shopping enthusiasts. The store environment includes Smart Shelves, mobile p-o-s units and sound and light technology in the fitting rooms. Why are these a fit with your customers? We’re not implementing complex solutions just for the sake of doing so. All of our technology choices are designed to create a richer, more efficient experience. Most of what we’re doing is not fully embraced yet by retailers.
Each room inside C. Wonder was inspired by Chris Burch’s own residential experiences, such as:
English Townhouse: “Because I was fortunate to live in England.” Vail Cabin: “Recalls my years of skiing.” American Dream: “Has touches from a kitchen I liked.”
When you look out across the retail horizon, what gives you hope for a brighter future? The continued convergence of technology in retail is making it even more possible for customers to get exactly what they want, how they want it, when they want it. It puts the customer in the driver’s seat. What do you think is the biggest challenge retailers face in 2012? The world is de-leveraging. The consumer is demanding more and more and more, so retailers need to provide extraordinary product, packaging, gifting and a care for the customer that’s never been needed in the past. With the convenience of the internet, retailers need to enhance the customer experience in a new and exciting way. Where do you see the C. Wonder brand in 10 years? I love the world, so I see C. Wonder in faraway places. x
For more on C. Wonder, turn to page 14 and go online to vmsd.com.
56 FEBRUARY 2012 | vmsd.com
COURTESY OF J. CHRISTOPHER CAPITAL , NEW YORK
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - February 2012
VMSD - February 2012
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
’tis the Season to Be Social
Passport to the World
A Sharper Image
VMSD - February 2012