Many boutiques have been affected by the recession. Some have gone under, but some are still thriving. Those that are doing well have actually been playing to the mindset of the customers. As your market’s values change, so should you. If you carefully and tediously plan and target the right customer at the right time, you could help to bring your boutique into the green.

Consumers have changed their behaviors. There is a more frugal mindset, meaning that people are not spending as much money, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t shop at boutiques. Shoppers are not just looking for low prices, but value. People are trending more towards buying in bulk. They are also buying just as much name brand and private label product as before the recession. This has come as a surprise to market analysts.

Usually during a recession, customers will trend towards buying more generic products or cutting down on spending any extra money at all. However, today’s consumers are much savvier, they have more resources, and they’re ultimately more educated than they have been in the past. Customers aren’t just looking to save a few bucks. They’re being selective about where their money goes. They are shopping online to find the best price for the highest quality product. They want to spend their money where it counts on things that will mean more to them or serve them for a longer period of time. Generics and lower quality items are, in the customer’s mind, moving from “a good deal” to “a waste of money”.

This is good for boutiques. If you can hit it at the right angle, then you can bring in customers that are looking for those higher quality products. They may not be in your store spending wildly, but they will appreciate the high end clothing and product lines that you carry. You need to make them comfortable with the quality and value of your product. You should also concentrate heavily on making the customer comfortable with you.

Coming across as a dependable, trustworthy, advocate of small or local businesses can go a long way with your customers. Be active in the community. Not just to get your name out there, but to portray your boutique as one that cares about the local economy and small businesses in your town. Instead of advertising trends, advertise quality.

You may need to change up the look of your store to get the right message across. From the moment people enter the store they should feel like you offer high quality goods that will add value to their lives. Your garment racks should be kept neat and stocked at all times. A messy or under-stocked garment rackgives the impression that you don’t care anymore or that you’re going out of business. Don’t give your customers something to worry or wonder about in these trying times. Treat everyone with the utmost respect and you’ll start to see your business emerge from the grips of the recession.

About the Author: John Garvey is on the staff of Only Garment Racks, a leading online source of garment racks including clothing racks. Find a high quality garment rack or clothing rack at