Taryn Rose Plots Growth

Taryn Rose International is gearing up to take on the luxe market. Its plan includes an aggressive outreach program to reconnect with retailers, a national trunk show, a rebranding campaign and an expansion of the company’s product assortment and price points.
After consulting with the company for a couple of months, former Kenneth Cole Productions exec Susan Hudson O’Neil officially joined the company in March as COO and said there is vast opportunity for a luxury comfort brand. “Everyone knows there’s a void [in women’s fashion comfort], but no one has really nailed it yet,” she said. “So we have some aggressive growth plans here.”
O’Neil said that building relationships with retailers who currently carry the label, and even those that previously did but no longer do, is a major focus at the company. “We’re going back to a lot of the retailers who used to buy Taryn Rose, but maybe got away from the brand,” she said.
Part of that outreach includes a national trunk show program June 11-14 and June 18-21, with events at 125 retail locations that carry the label. “Our feeling is that we don’t believe it’s a sale until it’s in the closet of the consumer, so we want to get in there to help sell and talk about the brand,” said O’Neil. “And it’s not just a one-time thing. We plan on doing this on a regular basis. This is the beginning of a very close relationship with our partners.”
Also in June, the company will roll out a new branding campaign in its retail stores, centered on the “Comfortably Sexy” theme. A print campaign will follow for fall and carry into spring ’10.
The company’s product assortment and price points have also been widened for the current season and will continue to expand moving forward. Price points, which had hovered around $400 to $500, now span from $100 to $600. Product categories now also include casual, travel and career shoes, in addition to the brand’s dressier styles.
“We’re still in the luxury space, but the luxury space has changed,” said O’Neil. “Consumers are feeling guilty if they’re spending money right now, but comfort is an added feature. They can put on our shoes in the morning and wear them out at night, so we feel we’re in a very good space. We want people to feel like they’re getting an incredible value because they’re thinking about every purchase they make.”

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