Our industry is pretty fickle, isn't it? What's hot for the spring generally doesn't last into the fall. The designer sunglasses people buy to get them through those long summer days on the beach will be set aside when winter's snow starts flying.
As a designer of high-quality sunglasses, we do not mind the constantly revolving nature of our business. We hope you don't either. We want to encourage you to always bear in mind one of the fundamental rules of retailing designer sunglasses: customers who shop in your store are looking for their style.
We All Have Our Own Style
It has been said that style is subjective. We cannot argue with that. In fact, we would go one step further to say that every individual has his or her own unique style. Our individual styles tend to overlap from time to time, but when push comes to shove, most of us have a personal style accentuated by at least a few unique marks.
For some people, a particular retro look is the foundation. If you need an example, look no further than a photo tweeted by legendary golf pro Phil Mickelson. The photo shows Mickelson standing in front of his fireplace all decked out like a 1970s hippie.
Mickelson is sporting long hair (a wig), an equally long mustache, a bit of bling around the neck, and a pair of legendary tinted sunglasses straight from an episode of The Mod Squad. Along with the photo Mickelson tweeted, "I know I need to let go of the past, but when you crush the past like this it can be hard to let go of it."
Anyone who follows Phil Mickelson knows he doesn't normally dress like this. However, his point is still well taken. There are a lot of people for whom the 1970s is still alive and well. They will not be at all attracted to sunglasses that fit better with the 1990s or 2000s.
Rely on Old Standards
We say all this to encourage you to not be afraid to rely on old standards. By all means make sure your stock includes an ample supply of the latest styles. Make sure you are keeping up with those hot trends that set the market on fire every spring. Just do not forget about the old standards.
Classic aviators are always going to sell. So will wayfarers in basic black and a decent selection of cat eyes. These are the designs people have been buying for decades. They are the designs that will still be in fashion when today's hottest trends are nothing but a distant memory.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask
We also want to encourage you to not be afraid to ask your customers what they want. Sometimes the only way to understand a customer's personal style is to inquire. Moreover, asking questions makes it easier to stay abreast of market trends as they unfold.
A customer taking time to shop in your store is looking for sunglasses that match his/her own personal style. Do you carry them? If not, you are risking losing that customer and others with similar tastes. Perhaps it's time to reevaluate your inventory.
We get that your store cannot be all things to all people. The point here is to encourage you to keep an adequate supply of the old standards while at the same time accommodating the latest trends as best you can. If you can keep a somewhat diversified inventory moving, your store will have a lot to offer a broader audience.