Over the next week, Moda will introduce each speaker as part of its Meet the Speakers series. Today we catch up with David Skaith, owner of independent menswear store Winstons of York, who will reveal how to successfully tap into the potential of the lifestyle sector to create a destination shopping experience.
Despite being somewhat of a new kid on the block, Winstons of York is already a destination within its own right. With its extensive product offer for all aspects of the menswear trade, men head to Winstons to be inspired, trusting that the in-store merchandise will appeal to their taste and lifestyle.
It’s the holy grail for retailers, and something that owner David Skaith has managed to achieve despite tough trading conditions. With ever-increasing competition both on and offline for branded product, it’s not enough to simply sell the right labels. Independents need to offer more – a destination concept that goes above and beyond a shop – and Skaith will be revealing exactly how he got there at his seminar this Moda.
“All of my knowledge comes from real-life experience,” he says. “Everything I know, I’ve learnt the hard way and, while my store is by no means perfect, I’ve had my successes. It’s so difficult to open a retail store in this climate, and I want to share what I have found to try and help others.”
Skaith’s approach to retail has always been to think outside the box. Having worked as a retail manager for leading brands Timberland and The North Face, he drew upon his experience of the retail theatre used by leading brands to make sure that their standalone stores were the ultimate destination for showcased product.
And when brand expert turned retailer, he incorporated all of his strength in developing ideas, visual merchandising, social media, interaction and identifying potential opportunities to create an independent retail store that is thriving against the odds.
“I like to help people, and offer advice wherever I can,” he says. “Moda will be an opportunity to meet like-minded people, and to build relationships that will hopefully help and support everyone.”
Discover more about making your store a destination with David Skaith at 11.45 on Sunday 18 February.