Identify market trends

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Identify market trends

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

IT IS important for any business to recognise market trends and know when to reshuffle business operations to suit the current economic situation.

This was said by Jacqueline Cheong, general manager of Bajoo, a fashion boutique and tailor shop which previously used to cater to the more affluent consumers in Brunei.

Bajoo has been closed for refurbishment and renovation and will soon be opened on November 17, 2010, targeting a new range of people with a new pricing scheme to make things more affordable.

In the current economic climate, the management felt that we needed to reshuffle things to cater to a wider market, but that’s not to say that we can’t cater to our old clients, said Cheong.

One thing that Cheong has noticed about the local market is that there is potential, pointing out that however, most consumers have a prejudice against our own goods. She said that Bajoo is working towards changing the attitude that things bought from overseas, are not as good as locally made products.

Apart from investing in the interior decoration of the store to make it stand out from other clothing stores, Bajoo also offers children’s wear, batik and hand-woven fabrics that not many stores in Brunei offer.

The design of the shop didn’t pose too much of a challenge as I always knew what I want it to look like, she said.

One of the main challenges that Cheong is currently trying to overcome is the fact that Bruneian women love to shop overseas, and that sourcing clothes for her shop is just as challenging.

We are such a small country and sourcing the clothes was a little challenging, by which, we had to find the best quality at reasonable prices, she said.

Being a small boutique, located in Mata-Mata, she says that the store can’t stock too many of the same items, and she has to maintain that almost every piece that is displayed in the store is unique.

Through all the rebranding, however, it is important to not lose touch with our bread and butter, which is our tailoring department, she said, and added that the department has been around for almost 20 years.

By mixing in fresh ideas with the old, we’re hoping to strike a happy medium, said Cheong.

Identify market trends

Asked about her boutique not being located in a shopping mall, Cheong said that she believes that the location for Bajoo is perfect.

We have ample parking space, and ample floor space for our operations, and this is part of the reason between our affordable prices, she said.

Currently, the store starts their pricing at $15 for children’s wear, women’s wear starts off at $20, tailoring starts off at $25 for a normal baju kurung, and alterations can go as low as $1 for the hemming items.

Another service that Cheong says helps make the store stand out more, is the fact that clothes that are bought from the store can be altered to suit each individual that walks through.

Right now our collection is mostly from Hong Kong and Australia, and this is for the fashion-forward ladies, where each item is hand-picked, she said.

Bajoo goes the extra mile in ensuring that each item can be personalised and custom-fitted for each fashionista through their professional team of tailors. The updated collection of materials, including hand-screened batik, and professional embroidery services complete the all-inclusive service of Bajoo.

Together, the store and the tailoring team promises to change the local landscape of fashion boutiques by offering a wholesome experience retail and tailoring, hand in hand, she said.

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