Sunglass Hut shines light on its new fashion efforts

Sunglass Hut wanted to present itself as a more fashionable boutique and give customers a more personal shopping experience. So, two years ago, the retailer implemented a more conversational sales approach and began redesigning its stores.

Sunglass Hut wanted to present itself as a more fashionable boutique and give customers a more personal shopping experience. So, two years ago, the retailer implemented a more conversational sales approach and began redesigning its stores.

In January, the team tasked Ogilvy PR, its AOR, to help unveil the new design and approach.

“We decided to use PR to have a human connection [and encourage] people to come to our stores,” says Pam Snider, marketing director for Sun-glass Hut.

Strategy

The PR team planned in-store events in Miami, LA and New York; hosting influencers, celebrities, and media. Each event was themed to its key market. “We needed to get people in the store to see how things are different, to interact with the product, and see how... great [Sunglass Hut] is,” says Denise Vitola, SVP at Ogilvy.

As part of the fashion focus and ongoing consumer strategy, the team trained store associates to act as stylists. Sunglass Hut also partnered with Gen Art, an arts and entertainment organization. “We needed to elevate the brand with a third-party partnership,” Vitola says.

Tactics

In Miami, the team worked with Gen Art on an in-store mini-runway show during the organization's annual Fresh Faces in Fashion event, and a New York store organized the press conference for Gen Art's 10th Anniversary Styles show. For the LA store, the team tapped photographer Jeremy Kost to unveil his latest artwork.

Ogilvy secured pre-event, one-on-one celebrity and media meetings with the “stylists,” and tapped celebrities to leverage print, online, and broadcast media.

Results

At least 13 editors in each market attended the events. Media placements included Vanity Fair, Vogue, and two segments on the E network. Though the campaign led to increased sales, Vitola could not disclose a figure.

Future

Until October 31, the team will conduct outreach to secure in-store appointments with editors.

PR team: Sunglass Hut and Ogilvy PR Worldwide (both New York)

Campaign: A Whole New Look: Store Relaunch

Duration: January-May 2008

Budget: $500,000

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