Growing up as a native of Athens, Heery’s Clothes Closet was always a favorite of mine when shopping downtown (especially during their half-price sale). Even if we couldn’t afford the merchandise, my friends and I loved to browse the new designer fashions. This held true throughout college, and I recently started working there as a part-time sales associate. Although I love the clothing they sell and follow all of Heery’s social media accounts, I discovered that not many of my peers in college did the same. In fact, one demographic I rarely see shopping in Heery’s is college students. This could be because of the high-end prices that many students don’t want to spend their hard-earned money on. However, Heery’s does have some moderately priced clothing that not many people know about, as it’s not usually broadcasted on any social media site. This got me thinking, could Heery’s improve its collegiate outreach by being more involved in social media?
Although I rarely shop in many retail stores downtown due to most of my paycheck paying off the clothes I get while working, I know that Heery’s isn’t the only store in Athens that carries high-end clothing. Stores like Indigo Child and American Threads offer some brands that are well above the average price for a typical blouse or dress, and they continuously draw in college crowds. What’s so different in their marketing that they can do this?
One difference I noticed between these three stores is that the staff of Indigo Child and American Threads primarily consists of college students, who regularly make appearances on their Instagram. American Threads also reaches out to students with a strong following on social media, and gets them to endorse their store using the hashtag “Threads Babe”. Don’t get me wrong- Heery’s definitely utilizes their social media accounts to promote new products and keep their followers updated on store hours and sales. They even post pictures of the college students who work in the store, but none of their employees have the following to be considered an influencer. If Heery’s allowed students with a large social media network to promote their popular brands that are more affordable like Dolce Vita or Bella Dahl, which is one of their highest selling clothing lines, it may increase their collegiate outreach.
No matter how well a store can advertise their clothes, some students understandably still won’t pay the high prices associated with designer clothing. Luckily for Heery’s, college students are not their key demographic. Although this could be a profitable market for them, Heery’s has generated a loyal customer base over the past 50 years they’ve been open, so they’re definitely doing something right.