Friday, September 21, 2007

Another Answer & A New Email Address

This entry will address another question asked of us about It'll Fit'll. If you have any questions, please do feel free to ask them and we'll be happy to answer them in this forum - or privately if you prefer. You can pose questions via the "Comment" function or send me an email.

I just changed the contact email address in my blogger file and am starting to transition business communications to that email box. The new address is "". If you've got the previous email address, that will still get to me. But, that's my personal email account and the business has reached a point that makes the business email address more critical. Separating the business from the personal email ought to prevent my overlooking a message from one of you because it got lost among the messages from family,friends, Amazon, Practical eCommerce, electronic newspapers, my daughter's favorite online shops, and all that spam from those crazy made-up "sender" names that are created to evade the filter.

Question: How will you sell the clothes?

It'll Fit'll clothing will be sold on-line, via an "" web site. (Hence the subscription to Practical eCommerce.) The traditional distribution model for clothing doesn't make sense for us, for a few reasons.

Large national retailers would be very challenged in stocking the right mix - gender, size, apparel type, quantity, etc. In this relatively small niche market I expect they would choose not to risk it. Afterall, there's been no real need demonstrated to them. They're selling clothes to/for people with Down syndrome now; "why bother?" might be their thinking. Smaller, boutique-like retailers might be more willing to stock It'll Fit'll items, but employing a sales rep to cultivate that business is not the best use of our very limited resources - especially since the ecommerce option exists and that will allow us to offer our product at the most reasonable prices possible.

In order to keep prices reasonable we need to sell directly to consumers; there's no margin to share with retailers. In addition, we will not have the human or financial resources to fill the many and varied esoteric requirements of retailers (Susie will be our entire distribution function.) Nor will we be able to afford the financial penalties - "chargebacks" is what they call 'em - that retailers assess for missing a requirement. Also, the standard payment terms that most big retailers impose are unaffordable: 8% discount, payment in (typically) 30 to 60 days - sometimes longer!

Also, selling directly to you brings us closer to you in many other ways too - in terms of communication, feedback, responding to your needs, new poduct development/time to market, etc. I believe that maintaining a short and direct line of communication between us will be a good thing for all of us.

Since clothing fit is important to you, and the basis for this business, the website will have a section that fully explains the sizing. To assure that you're ordering the right size clothes, you'll need to take a few basic measurements of your child. Being on the same page relative to sizing will eliminate the downside of not being able to try on the clothes prior to purchase. And, there's always the final fallback - being able to return the clothes if necessary.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend. It's going to be sunny and in the mid-70's in northern Illinois this weekend...perfect!

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