Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2012 - (Page 52)

Retail APRICOT LANE BOUTIQUE Boutique Boom The success of Apricot Lane Boutique demonstrates what can happen when business sense and fashion sense operate to their highest standards. I f the ancient Chinese philosophy of “yin and yang” were embodied into a business entity, it might just take the form of Apricot Lane Boutique. Since 2007, the national retailer has quickly spread into wardrobes employing a strategy unheard of in the fashion world – a national retailer with a local boutique concept using a franchise model. Founded by Ken Petersen, Tom Brady and Scott Jacobs, Apricot Lane veers from traditional retail models, but the trio of partners is proving it works. “As we looked into this industry, we saw it was made up of national retail chains and smaller mom and pop boutiques around the country,” Petersen explains. “If we could take the infrastructure of a franchise and extend it into fashion, we could support the boutiques to act and react like a national chain. We saw a large hole of unchartered territory that our 20 years of franchise experience could fill.” With 64 stores open to date, 14 stores in the planning stage and a total of 40 additional stores projected to open by the end of 2012 as well as an e-commerce site in development, Apricot Lane has made quick work of filling that gap. As it moves into 2013, Apricot Lane will be available in 29 states. It also has won celebrity approval. Television personality Whitney Port, and creator of the fashion label Whitney Eve, announced a new line sold exclusively through Apricot Lane, WE by Whitney Eve. It will be available this April. Lilliana Vazquez, founder of CheapChicas Guide to Style, also is adding credibility to Apricot Lane’s fashion sense. Seen on E!, and Today Show, Vazquez will appear at Apricot Lane grand openings and tag her “style picks” at various price points. Melding Two Worlds Ken Petersen Vacaville, Calif. So, how did the barely 5-year-old company reach its fast success? By combining a corporate setup and boutique concept, the stores are essentially local businesses backed by a strong corporate team. Each loca- 52 March/April 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2012

Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2012
Creating Value
Design Strategies
Toy Fair 2012 Wrap-Up
Expo West 2012 Wrap-Up
Fashion Week
Category Insight
China Sourcing Fair 2012 Preview
Cover Story: Jessica Simpson
charming CHARLIE
Fantastic Sams
The Bargain! Shop
Sportsman’s Warehouse
Fruth Pharmacy
Apricot Lane Boutique
Hi-School Pharmacy
Hallmark Cards Canada
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Rubie’s Costume Co.
Fashion Angels
K’NEX Brands
Total Wine & More
Sigel’s Beverages
O&W Inc.
New Hampshire State Liquor Commission
Kohler Distributing Co.
New & Notable

Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2012