News & Runway

ACCESSORIES CONCEPT

by Sharon Feiereisen 

I read a very interesting cover story in Business Week a few weeks ago that looked at which businesses are succeeding in these trying times and it’s little surprise that the ones coming out on top are those that are managing to deliver either on price or on customer service. I’m not sure if Banana Republic has delivered in either of those two categories in the past, but it seems that at least for now things are looking up for the retail chain as they plan on showcasing more affordably priced accessories.  

They’ve just announced the launch of When Edition by Banana Republic – a new 1,400-square-foot accessories and handbag retail concept – that is set to hit May 15. Nearly every product in the line will be priced under $100. 


 
The concept store will open at the Westfield Mall in San Francisco (there is a Banana Republic already in the mall), and will not be sold online or at any Banana Republic stores. The concept store is based around the idea that women are now shopping more consciously and are looking for alternatives to spending several hundred dollars on shoes, handbags, and jewelry – exactly the concept that Business Week singled out as one of the basis for a successful business these days.  
 
The When Edition by Banana Republic store will carry limited edition women’s handbag and jewelry collections which will be produced in batches of 50 to 100 pieces along with popular staple Banana Republic accessories, shoes, personal care, eyewear, and other seasonal accessories likes hats and scarves. All handbags will be made with Italian leather, and semiprecious stones will be used for the jewelry pieces.

The president of Banana Republic, Jack Calhoun, noted that for the Banana Republic customer today, affordability is paramount and “being fashionable is always in style,” adding that Edition is the perfect place for women to update their wardrobe with “exquisite, limited edition and affordable accessories, especially in today’s economy.”