We talked to Bo Yong Kim, founder of Storets, about female fashion, and this is what she said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Bo Yong Kim: These must be the most challenging times for all of us. For me, COVID-19 brought our family back together and made us stand by one another. I was in the USA on a long-term business trip when COVID-19 sparked, and that was the time when I learned how priceless a family is. I cannot describe how much I felt grateful when I reunited with my family.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Storets.
Bo Yong Kim: Please refer below
How does Storets innovate?
Bo Yong Kim: In the following ways:
- Availability to adapt trend instantly
- Quick production turnaround
- Minimizing the risk ( almost zero dead stock)
We can complete the production process (from design to final production) within a week or less. And there is a wide range of different factories available that offer different minimum production quantities and qualities. For instance, some of their minimum quantities are as small as ten pieces per one style, which means you have almost zero risks on the dead stock. That is how we are introducing on average 50-100 new designs every week or two while minimizing the risk.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Bo Yong Kim: Last spring, when the lockdown was initiated worldwide, it was the festive season that all fashion retailers and brands were promoting the festive (or dress-up) styles, and so did we. Naturally, we had a huge impact on our business, our sales have dropped to a half. However, since we were backed up with this unique production ecosystem, we were able to change the collection that was suitable for ‘stay at home’ from the festive collection. This innovative adaptation has led us to achieve an 80% revenue increase year over year when the fashion industry soars. In addition, Storets is a digitally native brand that has no brick-and-mortar stores. As a fashion brand, it has been our long-time challenge that we have no brick-and-mortar stores. However, circumstances have changed, and we were able to reach out to more people who are eagerly looking for new trends online.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Bo Yong Kim: Fortunately, No!
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Bo Yong Kim: As we go through these COVID-19, we have learned that people do want to feel a personal touch, even when they shop online. To give them a more personalized experience, we enclose a thank you note to each order and communicate them directly through their favorite social media, Instagram.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Bo Yong Kim: We did not receive any government grant funds for COVID19.
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