The customer is always right.
We’ve all heard that mantra about running a successful retail business. And while it’s important for every retail business to ensure customer concerns are heard and validated, it’s only part of the story. The retailer must be right, too – about understanding exactly what customers need and how they can best deliver it to them.
In his retail business known as Zoë & Company, Bruce Prescott has gotten some very important things right.
The company began in 2001 as a small seasonal women’s clothing store on Fishers Island in New York. To grow the store, which primarily featured dresses and other clothing, Prescott began selling quality women’s swimwear. “We did some research and quickly learned that to help our customers get the right fit, we had to help them get the right bra size,” said Prescott. Their work to deliver on that promise paid off. “Once word spread about what we offered, women began taking 45-minute ferry rides from New London, Connecticut to Fishers Island just to get fitted. “That’s when I knew we needed to move to the mainland, where we could focus on bra-fitting year around,” said Prescott.
Growing to fit the needs of each individual customer
That decision to move was pivotal in helping the company grow. Today, Zoë & Company has three locations – in Westerly, Rhode Island; Concord, New Hampshire; and more recently Hyannis, Massachusetts. The company boasts a tremendous selection of bras, which includes 230 sizes, compared with 35 sizes carried at most stores. But having a large selection of sizes is only part of the reason for Zoë & Company’s success. Prescott believes the strength of his business lies with the knowledge of his expert, professional fitters who undergo months of rigorous training before working with customers independently. During that training process, fitters work with a diverse range of customers – from women who have had mastectomies/lumpectomies and reconstructive surgeries, to expectant and nursing moms, to athletes and gender-fluid clients. Their clients range from young girls getting their first bras to centenarians. “The importance of training employees in a service industry cannot be overstated. We trust our fitters to do their jobs because we know we have taught them rigorously. We also know that online shopping cannot compare with the level of personal service we provide,” said Prescott.
Banking support to rely on
It’s this appreciation for service that drew Prescott to Ernest “Ernie” Muccio, Senior Vice President, Chief Credit Officer and Jewett City Savings Bank. “Ernie has always been professional, knowledgeable, and truly interested in all aspects of our business. We followed him to Jewett City Savings Bank and have been so impressed with our banking team there. They explain things to me in terms I can understand and are willing to explore different options for my varying needs – whether it’s helping us buy inventory or purchase a commercial building. They’ve traveled all over New England to help us grow. Jewett City Savings Bank is not just an outside entity, but an important part of our business.”
To learn more about Zoë & Company Professional Bra Fitters visit ZoeandCompany.com.