Demian Wendrow | Co-Owner
High-end retailer London Harness remains competitive with department stores and online retailers by improving replenishment and operations, and rewarding loyal customers to keep them coming back.
London Harness is a high-end, specialty gift store that has been a staple in Wellesley, MA since 1951. Store owners Demian Wendrow and Amy Lynch also operate the only locally owned TUMI store in Massachusetts, one of only 4 in the US, located next door to the London Harness location. As President of the Wellesley Square Merchants Association, Wendrow is an advocate for local businesses and community organizations.
“I think that today’s shopper is trained to look for a deal, so retaining loyal customers became a real priority for us. We’ve been facing more competition, not only with online retailers like Amazon, but with brick and mortar department stores. Almost every week you hear about department stores offering friends and family days and other promotions tied to their loyalty cards,” says Wendrow.
Wendrow introduced Retail Pro to London Harness and Tumi nearly 17 years ago, and has been working with the software for over 20 years. “The POS is very easy to use and teach,” says Wendrow. “It’s a very consistent, reliable software, and we really like the reports, which we use together with the Retail Pro Planning open to buy to optimize replenishment.”
Data-driven replenishment through Retail Pro improved their inventory turn and helped modernize store operations; Retail Pro Planning helps Wendrow determine the optimal assortment for their sales floor. For customers wanting brands or products London Harness isn’t carrying, Wendrow and his team have an iPad in-store functioning as an endless aisle. “It’s all about having the right inventory, and not too much of it, so we don’t carry everything in our stores, but we will make special orders to make sure we’re always saying yes to the customer.”
Then London Harness turned their attention to customer loyalty.
“We saw loyalty as a huge opportunity for us at London Harness. As a high-end retailer, we don’t like to discount items at the store, so we knew loyalty would be a great way for us to avoid competing on price by rewarding loyal customers for their business.”
Once he learned that AppCard had partnered with Retail Pro, he realized the integrated loyalty solution would be a good fit.
“We loved the fact that we could design our own rewards program with AppCard. We designed a cash back program that gives customers 5% of their purchase as a discount towards their next purchase. When a customer first signs up for the program, we give them 10% of their purchase as a cash back reward for future purchases, which has been a great incentive for people to sign up. When we tell customers that the program is completely free, there’s no card necessary, and they get that bonus 10% toward their next purchase, the feedback from customers is usually ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ So it’s been really easy for us to get customers excited about joining the program.”
Sales associates add into the Retail Pro POS customers’ emails for sending offer-enhanced digital receipts from flexReceipts, and phone numbers for the text-based AppCard loyalty program.
With purchase data from the Retail Pro POS sent to the integrated AppCard rewards program, the team at London Harness is able to automatically deliver targeted offers. “If a customer spends more than $500 on their visit, we automatically award them with an additional $15 that will expire after 30 days. Another campaign that we’ve done a few times targets customers who have a certain dollar amount available to redeem, and incentivize them to come back in with an extra bonus discount that expires in 30 days. It’s a great campaign because customers often forget that they have cash back, so it’s a nice reminder for them. Since the offer has an expiration date, customers also tend to come in right away to redeem.”
Today, 68.5% of transactions and 80% of sales are attributed to AppCard members at London Harness. The store currently enrolls 48% of non-members into the program. “Customers love the program and are excited to redeem points and rewards. Customers understand the program and respond really well to our marketing campaigns.”
Integrated together on the foundation of Retail Pro POS, these technology solutions empower London Harness and TUMI to leverage their retail data and remain competitive with big-box department stores and online retailers by optimizing store operations, improving inventory turn, and increasing customer retention and sales.