PANACHE Takes a Bite of The Big Apple

PANACHE BRIDAL HAS JUST SET UP SHOP IN THE DEAD CENTER OF MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, A FIRST FOR THE WEST COAST HEAVY RETAILER. OUR RACHEL LEONARD SAT DOWN WITH PANACHE BRIDAL'S ELISE FOREST-ROSENBLUM TO GET THE SCOOP ON THEIR LATEST MOVE AND THEIR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE. 

 
 

1. COMING FROM THE WEST COAST, WHAT BRINGS PANACHE TO NYC?

WITH A STRONG PRESENCE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, WITH FOUR PANACHE STORES,  IT MADE SENSE TO OPEN THE FIFTH ONE ON THE EAST COAST. NEW YORK CITY TO ME IS THE RIGHT LOCATION AS IT TRULY IS THE BRIDAL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. ANOTHER BENEFIT TO THE EAST COAST LOCATION IS THAT MANY OF OUR BRIDES HAVE A CALIFORNIA-NEW YORK CITY CONNECTION. EITHER THEY WORK IN LOS ANGELES AND HAVE GROWN UP HERE OR VICE A VERSA. NOW WE CAN GIVE THEM AN ADDED SERVICE BY SHIPPING THEIR GOWN TO LOS ANGELES OR NEW YORK FOR PICKUP, AND THEN ALLOWING US TO PRIMP IT FOR THEM AFTER IT SHIPS AND HAVE THEIR GOWN READY.

2. DESCRIBE THE SPACE WHEN THE BRIDE WALKS THROUGH THE DOOR.

THE LUXURIOUS SALON IS LOCATED ON THE THIRD FLOOR, WITH AN ELEVATOR THAT OPENS UP TO A REGISTRATION DESK FOR BRIDES TO CHECK IN. WE HAVE AN OPEN FLOOR PLAN WHERE ALL GOWNS ARE SHOWCASED BY DESIGNER, A REAL FAVORITE AMONG BRIDES. ADDITIONALLY, CREAM-COLORED PORCELAIN FLOORS ALONG WITH SOFT BLUE LED LIGHTING AND HAND-CUT CRYSTAL CHANDELIERS WITH OVER 500 INSET LIGHTS BESIDE THEM, THIS ALLOWS THE BEADING ON THE GOWNS TO SPARKLE. ANOTHER FAVORITE AMONG OUR BRIDES IS OUR 20 FOOT CHERRY WOOD CATWALK.

3. WHAT EXPERIENCE WILL BE DIFFERENT THAN OTHER BRIDAL SALONS?

FIRST AND FOREMOST, PANACHE IS ONE OF THE MOST LUXURIOUS SALONS IN NEW YORK CITY. INSTANTLY THE BRIDE IS SWEPT UP WITH THE GLAMOUR AND APPEAL OF THE SALON. WE PRIDE OURSELVES IN SHOWCASING DESIGNERS THAT ARE NOT NECESSARILY IN OTHER NEW YORK CITY SALONS. THIS ENHANCES THE  UNIQUE EXPERIENCE FOR THE BRIDE COMBINED WITH A THOROUGHLY TRAINED AND COURTEOUS STAFF. 

4. HOW BIG IS THE SPACE AND HOW MANY DRESSING ROOMS?

THE SALON IS CLOSE TO 10,000 SQUARE FEET, WITH 10 LUXURIOUS BRIDAL DRESSING ROOMS. THE ROOMS HAVE DOUBLE DOORS BETWEEN THEM SO DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF THE PARTY THAT ACCOMPANIES THE BRIDE THEY CAN HAVE A SEAT IN THE OTHER ROOM. 

5. WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE FEATURE OF THE STORE?

 AFTER OPENING A NUMBER OF SALONS FOR OWNERS WE CAME UP WITH A DESIGN FOR THE SALON THAT WE FEEL IS VERY UNIQUE.  WE DID NOT CREATE STANDARD BINS TO HANG THE GOWNS, BUT CREATED BEAUTIFUL 8 FOOT LONG CREAM AND GOLD ROLLING RACKS THAT CAN EASILY BE MOVED.  WE CAN RECONFIGURE THE SALON FOR TRUNK SHOWS AND EVENTS VERY QUICKLY AND EASILY DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF THE TRUNK SHOW OR EVENT.

 
 

6. TELL ME ABOUT THE BRANDS YOU ARE CARRYING, WHAT IS THE FOCUS? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CALIFORNIA AND NEW YORK BRIDE?

WE TRY TO FIND SOME OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE DESIGNERS THAT YOU WILL NOT FIND ANYWHERE ELSE. HOWEVER, IT IS STILL IMPORTANT FOR US TO CARRY BRANDS THAT ARE WIDELY RECOGNIZED BY BRIDES. THERE REALLY IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CALIFORNIA BRIDE AND NEW YORK BRIDE, WHEN IT COMES TO SERVICE AND PATIENCE.  FROM A STYLE STANDPOINT, THERE ARE SOME TRENDS I SEE THAT ARE POPULAR MORE SO ON THE WEST COAST, THAN ON THE EAST COAST AND THE EAST COAST STILL TENDS TO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE CONSERVATIVE THAN THE WEST COAST.

7. THE SPACE IS VERY LARGE AND CENTRALLY LOCATED, ARE YOU PLANNING ON HAVING RUNWAY SHOWS?

WHEN WE WERE BUILDING THE SALON THIS WAS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION. THAT IS THE BEAUTY OF HAVING SUCH A UNIQUE SALON WHERE EVERYTHING CAN MOVE TO ACCOMMODATE WHATEVER EVENT WE DECIDE TO DO, WHETHER IT IS FOR A RETAIL EVENT OR A DESIGNER WHO WISHES TO HOST A MEDIA EVENT.

8. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF SERVICE THAT THE BRIDE WILL EXPERIENCE?

WHAT WE LIKE TO SAY TO OUR BRIDES IS THEY ARE FREE TO WORRY ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE SURROUNDING THEIR WEDDING EXCEPT FOR THEIR GOWN. WE WANT THEM TO THINK OF PANACHE AS A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE FROM POINT OF SALE, TO THE SERVICE SEGMENT OF THEIR GOWN, WHICH INCLUDES ALTERATIONS. ADDITIONALLY, EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE AND PERSONAL ATTENTION TO DETAIL BY HIGHLY TRAINED CONSULTANTS WHOM ARE COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE IS VERY IMPORTANT. 

                                                                                                                        9. I SEE YOU CARRY EVENING WEAR, TELL MORE ABOUT THAT.

THERE IS A NOTICEABLY LARGE VACANCY WHEN IT COMES TO EVENING WEAR IN NEW YORK.  I AM A FIRM BELIEVER IN EVENING WEAR.  IT CAN CREATE A CASH FLOW ON THE SERVICE MONTHS OF BRIDAL WHEN WE ARE BUSY WITH ALTERATIONS. THE POTENTIAL EVENING WEAR CUSTOMER IS NOT NECESSARILY FROM THE WEDDING PARTY, BUT CAN BE A REPEAT CUSTOMER.  THERE ARE SO MANY POLITICAL, PRIVATE, SOCIAL GALAS ALL OVER THE CITY.  I THINK THAT CUSTOMER WANTS A PRIVATE SALON EXPERIENCE, SHE FEELS BY BUYING IN A DEPARTMENT STORE SHE RUNS THE RISK OF SOMEONE ELSE WEARING THE SAME GOWN TO THE SAME EVENT.

10. WITH ALL YOUR YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, WHAT IS MOSE ESSENTIAL TO REMEMBER WHEN SERVING THE BRIDE?

WHEN I DO TRAINING, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS FROM POINT OF SALE TO ALTERATIONS, THAT I STRESS IS TO BE A GOOD LISTENER. IF YOU ARE OVER TALKING HER, YOU CANT HEAR HER.  MANY THINGS HAVE GONE WRONG WITH A BRIDES ORDER BECAUSE SOMEONE WAS NOT LISTENING.  DON'T OVER PROMISE THE BRIDE JUST TO CAPTURE THE SELL.

RETAIL SPOTLIGHTLee Muston