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Are You a Fashion Retailer or You Want to Run a Retail Store? Here are 3 Invaluable Takeaways From Alara

January 28, 2020 | by Adenike | 33 Comments

The fashion industry is a $2.4 trillion industry- this means that a huge lot of buying and selling occurs in the industry. With more shopping happening online as well as offline, there has never been a better time to be a fashion retailer.

We explored the Nigerian retail industry and settled on Alara as our analysis focus. The invaluable concepts we saw in this brand will help you grow your own fashion retail business, or start one if you want. First, let us meet the brand itself.

Alara means "wondrous performer" and was inaugurated by Nigeria's Reni Folawiyo in 2014. The Alara store is a four storey building located in Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria. Alara encompasses more than its retail store, the brand has found a unique way to merge fashion with art,food and culture.

Alara's picturesque interior

Without further ado, here are the tips.

Presentation

Retail fashion is all about what catches the eye. Provided it catches the eye, the pocket can always be persuaded. The Alara store was designed to catch the eye. From the exterior to interior.

How can this be applied this to retail businesses?

You do not need to have a picturesque offline store like Alara, although it does not hurt if you do. If you run an online retail store, quality graphics and pictures are your best friend. If it is not on custom platforms like Jumia and the likes, then you can settle for a simple yet elegant design that will make your online platform stand out among the crowds.

In addition, language and the way text is presented can be the reason someone chooses your brand, or walks away. Do not be decieved, we all like finely-presented things. 

Nicely arranged items on the Alara walkway

Diversity.

What does your store offer people? We saw that Alara has found a way to intertwine fashion with arts and food and culture. While this does not mean that you should explore areas outside of your ffashion ocus, you can find a way to interrelate the existing parts of your fashion retail business.

Do you already sell shoes, bags, accessories? How about a section where people can see how well one goes with the other? The diversity of the Alara brand gives many options that allow people to choose how they want to be a part of the brand.

A fashion item on display

Exposure

As we caught up with this Nigerian retail brand, we discovered that a huge part of Alara's allure lies in the fact that it provides for people the exposure they travel to find. 

Nigerians want to wear Valentino and Stella McCartney, so Alara stocks it and puts it in a place that people love going to, in Nigeria. Again, this is not saying that brands should go outside of what their niche is. It simply means offering what is up to date in your niche, knowing your audience, what they want, and making available the best for the demand. 

To wrap up these takeaways, one thing is important and that is this: presentation is key in retail business.

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