Kendra Scott is testing a new way to increase brand awareness in markets where it does not have a strong retail presence.
The Direct Retail by Kendra Scott program has launched in a sort of beta mode, and empowers local entrepreneurs to sell directly to shoppers in their communities via events, social media and one-on-one relationships. Think of it as the modern equivalent of a Tupperware party.
“I’m still very bullish on retail, but we always put the customer first and meet them where they are. This creates an opportunity for a new workforce within the Kendra Scott brand,” said chief executive officer Tom Nolan.
The program launches today with 12 entrepreneurs already signed up. They are located in towns like Tacoma, Washington; Laredo, Texas; Toledo, Ohio, and Andover, Kansas — areas where Kendra Scott has low penetration and does not have plans to open a retail store in the near term.
“We are diversifying where we are regionally and bringing the brand to new customers that have not had the opportunity to experience the brand in-store,” Nolan said.
In order to get involved, entrepreneurs purchase a starter kit priced from $200 to $1,500 that includes samples of product from Kendra Scott’s fashion, demi-fine and fine jewelry collections. Each entrepreneur is given a specific URL to place orders through and they receive a commission of between 20 and 35 percent on all sales.
“I believe it is our responsibility to use our talents to create good in the world. Through this new program, we’re not only serving our own underrepresented markets, but we’re offering our customers a chance to work flexibly and for the good of others,” Kendra Scott told WWD. “I built my business with $500 and a dream, so as we begin to roll out this new program, I can’t help but get excited to see what the next generation of entrepreneurs will create.”
Nolan added that many of the initial entrepreneurs are “working parents or people who need time at home and this felt like a nice way of continuing community engagement and reimagining the entrepreneurial spirit. We are giving female entrepreneurs another opportunity for a revenue stream.”
The brand is taking a wait-and-see approach before expanding the program on a mass level. “We are dipping a toe in the water and wading into it very thoughtfully to see the reaction in the market,” Nolan said. “We are happy with where it is now and if we had 50 people in the next six months sign up we would be happy as well.”