Last six months saw a lot of changes with Lucy & Yak - we launched our first store in Brighton in April, introduced a lot of exciting products and really stepped up our content game on social - hope you've been loving our latest stories from India!
One of the reasons we launched a store in Brighton is because we wanted to meet you all in person and really get to know you and have a chance to hear straight from you on what you think about the products.
We know how much we love to see and feel clothing before we buy! You can never be quite certain how the colours will look, what the fit will be like until you try on or have a feel. That's a big plus with in store shopping. That said, so many shops have teeny fitting rooms with hideous lighting that a lot of customers prefer to buy, try on at home and then return if the fit isn't right, which is really easy now, especially with Klarna. At least in store, you can have some idea of sizing. That said, online shops usually provide a pretty good set of sizing information to make this easier and we have tried to make it easier too!
Sometimes it can be hard to find information about what you're buying. That can be true in store and online and we've been trying to get better at this, giving you more spiel on the team in India, fabrics we use and sizing of course!
Returns and delivery
Another big factor in the discussion is the the problem of returns. L&Y have a free returns policy for any item which is a big help but it's still a bit of a pain to get to the post office and send things back. With other brands, there's also the concern that some shops send returned items straight to landfill. That's definitely something I would want to know about and it would put me right off buying from them. Depop is great in that respect; if a garment has a flaw it can be sold there at a cut-price, making sure that everything finds its home in the end.
For a lot of people, the issue of returns is the downside to such a convenient way of shopping. It's just so easy to browse online from the convenience of the sofa, find what you're looking for and buy with a click. No more traipsing around the shops, battling through the busyness and standing in line with a wailing toddler and sore feet. For those who have a chronic illness or sensory sensitivity shops can really be inaccessible places with clothes rails positioned too closely together and music blaring. Whilst it shouldn't be this way, online shopping provides a great alternative for those for whom in store shopping just doesn't work well.
There's a bit of a concern when you're having lovely new things delivered that the postman doesn't have quite the care you hope for and items arrive damaged. That can happen in store too when careless customers try items on and leave foundation stains for example, and the clothes get stuffed back on the rail. Another option is to click and collect which has the benefit of someone there looking after your parcel, but the hassle of having to go and pick it up. On the other hand, that can be at a time that's convenient to the customer: definitely a plus.
There are some really fun things about shopping. Being able to shop online can mean that an occasional trip to the shops is a treat, an opportunity for a bit of a day out with friends, time to stop for a coffee and watch the people. That's especially true if there are lots of independent shops that have something different to offer and a unique atmosphere. It can be fun to meet new people and to get some advice from experienced staff. A lot of our high streets are still dominated by shops that are part of fast fashion which takes the shine right off a shopping trip. That's not always the case though, there can be some great independent shops, second-hand shops, and vintage shops that are fun to browse.
Having said that, there's only so much a shop can stock and it's often the case that extended sizes are only available online anyway. Sadly, this means some customers may feel unrepresented when shopping in store and what was meant to be a fun experience can turn into a negative one. It can still be worth the visit though, to check out the feel of the fabric and the cut of the clothes. Some savvy customers also keep an eye out for online discounts that aren't always available in store.
A great idea that came from the online debate was the suggestion of pop up shops. This can be a really fun way to get to have a look and a feel and meet some friendly faces without the costs of a permanent store. On the other hand, a permanent store with a friendly coffee shop is an idea that appeals to just about everyone!
The one thing we all agree on!
What was really clear in the online debate was that if there was a L&Y shop to visit, we'd be there! And that makes the news that there's going to be one popping up soon really exciting!