Retail Case Study – Louise Brennan of Longford Fabiani clothing store says Covid has seen her business expand its footprint

“The biggest challenge for us, aside from the many closures, was actually the uncertainty.

What was the biggest Covid challenge?

“The buying trends of our customers have changed, as have their needs. With the uncertainty of the pandemic and the constant threat of more lockdowns on the horizon, we found our client was taking longer to decide not only what to buy, but whether to buy at all. “

What are the biggest changes?

“The lockdown actually gave us a lot of time to re-evaluate things both in-store and online. We looked at what changes we could make for the better.

“During the pandemic we found out we had a new client coming to us – professionals were leaving town and returning to regional towns like Longford. This client was still looking for that same luxury item, but no longer traveled to Dublin for it. We have seen a real gap in the market here. This led to plans for our expansion, which allowed us to add a high-end womenswear floor and dedicated yoga studio to the existing store.

Online or Main Street?

“Definitely both! We feel that there has been a real resurgence of the main street.

“We have noticed that people are moving away from large malls and chain stores – instead, they want to see where they are spending their money. They appreciate the personal touch and enjoy building a relationship with the people they buy from.

“Of course, online is an invaluable tool and will pave the way for the future of retailing. It is an area in which we are about to invest heavily.

Are customers browsing or are they more focused when shopping?

“Our customers have definitely become more focused. They really know what they want. Customers are now making more thoughtful purchases and looking for bullion coins they can wear for seasons to come.

What about the next 12 months?

“We were recently named National Store of the Year at the Retail Excellence Awards, so we feel very optimistic after beating some of the big players in the industry. The next 12 months promise to be exciting! It’s time to plan Fabiani’s next business.

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