By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Marketing Weekly News -- Respect Your Universe, Inc. ("RYU") - TSXV: RYU; OTCQB: RYUN has made significant strides in implementing its strategic plans announced in December of 2013. This is made possible by a dedicated team of people who have participated in moving the company forward to clearly defined ends.
RYU intends to open a flagship store in its Westlake, Seattle location in approximately six weeks. This store replaces the existing temporary one and is designed by architect Richard Altuna. Mr. Altuna is an internationally known retail architect. RYU has value engineered the build-out of its store, reducing original cost estimates by approximately 40 percent while keeping the integrity of the interior design. Westlake Center is owned by General Growth Properties, Inc. which is among the largest owner of malls in the United States. It is also home to ZARA, a highly successful global retailer, which has recently opened an over 30,000 square foot store in the center. Since Zara's opening, our store, which is located nearby, has seen its sales rise by over 20 percent.
Leasing agents for Simeon Property Group, Inc., a global Real Estate Investment Trust, have been so impressed with RYU's new directions in apparel design and merchandise as featured in our temporary store in Westlake, that they have recently visited company headquarters to offer RYU additional sites in other malls.
"We believe that this will be a turning point in the company's history," stated Craig Brod, Chief Executive Officer, "and recognition that our new merchandise direction is beginning to capture the attention of professionals in retail leasing."
RYU is actively seeking additional mall sites for expansion in the next 30 days. Furthermore, RYU will close its Las Vegas store at the end of February, focus on the West Coast, and re-open in Las Vegas when a prime, permanent location becomes available.
RYU has also been working closely with the founder of Gesaky Interactive Mirror, Mr. Alan Kearney, to ensure a new shopping experience for RYU's retail customers. This new technology is intended to allow customers to view themselves dressed in a new RYU piece, and instantaneously see and source outfits and accessories off the mirror. The items can, in turn, be seamlessly loaded on to a customers' smartphone for later viewing, and purchasing. The Interactive Mirror is anticipated to be installed at the proposed Westlake store shortly after opening, and is anticipated to forms a key part of RYU's retail Omni-Strategy.
RYU's web strategy is unfolding in three phases. Phase one includes the upgrade of the site and is underway. We anticipate that it will be launched in the next 5-7 days. This launch will include the beginning of a shift in images, content, and product to attract more female customers. Customers will be able to see selections of our Spring product---chalk full of new styles and bright colors. This site is being constructed so that it can easily be upgraded on a regular bi-monthly basis to help ensure engagement and a more exciting feel. Through continual newness we intend to answer one of the most important questions asked by customers who like to shop, "what's new?"
Phase two, which runs parallel to phase one, includes hiring a Digital Marketing Manager to manage the digital function with an eye to driving brand identity and sales increases targeted at 25-30 percent annually. This Digital Marketing Manager is anticipated to be hired in approximately two weeks and will lead a behavioral marketing strategy targeted at significantly increasing our customer base.
Phase three will be launched in approximately two months and will include new images, models, and settings from key cities like Los Angeles, and mobile applications that make shopping from a smartphone easy and fun. "The company intends to make a major push into expanding its online and mobile business including digital media. Several projects are in the works, and news about their content and timing is anticipated to follow over the next few weeks," stated Craig Brod, Chief Executive Officer.
Finally, based on feedback from our customers, we have begun to systematically re-price selected items to measure the impact of reduced pricing on sales velocity. So far this has yielded encouraging results, and suggests that we need to sharpen our discipline in the area of producing apparel that has higher perceived value for customers.
RYU is beginning to see positive results now from its strategic initiatives launched over the last eight months. While these efforts may not evidence themselves immediately in terms of sales, RYU anticipates seeing positive sales results over the next two quarters. "To this end, all team members here at RYU are busy implementing strategies to increase sales and provide high quality service to customers. We thank all shareholders for their continued patience and support in our efforts," stated Chief Executive Officer, Craig Brod.
Keywords for this news article include: Marketing, Advertising, Respect Your Universe Inc.
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