Harrolds marketing and communications director Mary Poulakis talks to Josh McDonnell about key times to launch in-store activations, as well as peak sales periods.

What are some of the most successful types of in-store activations?

Exclusive private client events that are one of a kind experiences.

When are the key times to have events?

It differs from each city. We find that later in the week works best for Melbourne whereas, in Sydney, we will get better traction on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

What products do well as a result of these?

It translates across the board, we have men and women leaving the event with entire outfits or coming back to the store a couple days after to buy more.

How does Harrolds decide what events work and when to launch them?

The ideas will generally stem from the seasonal buy debriefs and then the Marketing team will discuss the strategy for the rest of the season.

The opportunities are for new brands that Harrolds take on but also for those that are exclusive to Harrolds, for example, Tom Ford.

The timing is most important as we always want to host the event when the store is filled with new and exciting product across all our brands.

On the other hand, we also get approached by brands outside the Harrolds stable on opportunities to collaborate.

The perfect example is the upcoming Panthere de Cartier store at Harrolds in our Sydney women's store which will then travel down to Melbourne.

We saw this as an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a globally renowned brand and to bring another experience for our clients within the confines of the Harrolds stores.

How often does Harrolds have in store events? Are there key stores that they work in?

Over the last couple of years, we have increased the amount that we do due to the success of them. We find the Sydney activities to receive more attention purely because of the media presence and the post event coverage that we will receive.

Notable sale events?

The most recent notable event was the launch of the Tom Ford store in a store dedicated to womenswear at our newly expanded Melbourne flagship store. Our clients really enjoy when there is a great atmosphere in store and adding another dimension which makes it more upbeat, we find this makes their Harrolds experience a unique one.

What are some of the key collaborations/online events that work for Harrolds?

As mentioned, Tom Ford is one of our major collaborators and always proves to be a success with our clients. We are thrilled to be bringing the Panthere de Cartier store to Harrolds and are confident that it will be a success with our clients as well as the general public.

We have also supported fashion shows during MBFWA, for example when Song for the Mute showed in 2014 and Lupe Fiasco closed the show – this also proved to be a very successful partnership, especially with a brand that we’ve nurtured for so long.

From a product level, our buyers work hard to ascertain exclusive collaborations from our partners. The most recent example was the Comme des Garcons x Nike Air Vapormax, where Harrolds was the exclusive stockist in Australia. These types of collaborations are what our clients can expect to see more of in the future.

How are they promoted/marketed?

It’s all dependent on the activity, we can go as wide as advertising on Facebook to one on one phone calls to VIP clients

When do they launch? Why?

Our new season launches bi-annually around February/March and July/August with a majority of our activities then happening in March and September/October due to the fullness of the store and the excitement of new product drops.

How does Harrolds decide on what events/collabs to launch?

It’s a collaborative effort across all departments, we always leverage off the opportunities that arise for the season. However, always ensuring that each one is unique and which appeal to our varied clientele.

What are some of the most successful sale times?

Mid year and Boxing Day are our most successful sale periods.

When are the key days?

The first day of sales is our biggest selling day. We create the hype to attend and it always pays off.

What products do well on sale?

All categories across the board do really well.

How does Harrolds decide when to run sales?

Dictated by the end of the season. We refrain from having extended sale periods and keep these short, as it creates the desire to buy now. We don’t fall into the trap of staying on sale, the focus is on the store experience rather than a price point.

How often?

For over 30 years, we have been infamous for The Harrolds Sale which is our five day sale at 50% off end of season collections. This happens twice a year.

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