Retention and Redefinition
TM: What key initiatives have you implemented in the past year?
KA: In this past year, [we] introduced a lot of new products to the service that meet more of [the customers’] current needs. For instance, this past January 2006 we introduced a shaping, non-hose product to the service, our Shaper Shortz, because shaping products are one of the areas of real growth in the hosiery market.
In April, [we] added a product called 65°f UltraSheer Pantyhose, which helps keep your legs cool during the summer. Again, that’s been very successful and chances are next year we’ll offer that as a lead product for new customers coming in.
Just this year alone we’ve added five new products. That’s a huge difference—the aggressive nature of constantly giving her new choices and meeting her needs today.
TM: How has your program benefitted from these changes?
KA: Our retention rates have increased year over year. This has been one of our big success stories. And I’m talking about an industry that’s been declining due to the casualization of the workplace. Being able to improve retention was our focal point. That’s where you make your money, by keeping customers. This past year, once again, we’ve made tremendous changes and, pretty much over all, have seen solid improvement over the prior year.
TM: How do you plan to grow the Silkies brand in the coming year?
KA: It’s really a very exciting time as we’ve redefined ourselves as a direct marketing company servicing women, as opposed to a hosiery company. We just launched our Silkies Enriche Skin Care Service. We did a test mailing last September and the results were very good. We did another mailing in February and we just did a big mailing in June [which] exceeded our expectations by 20 percent. We’re going to do another mailing in October, and in January we intend to do a big blowout. [The offer] is a free one ounce sample of our Ageless moisturizing cream. We’ve gotten tremendous response, and that’s going to be a huge focal point for us in 2007. This will be an entirely separate continuity service. We did extensive quantitative and qualitative research over a two year period that said this is what our customers and this consumer group really want.