Each day on the way to work I pass a small woman’s clothing store called The Clothes Horse. I always look. The clothes are fantastic. And that’s exactly the point for owner and manger Anne Hathaway. In this otherwise small store in an unassuming building, the owner has mastered her location by taking advantage of a enormous picture window fronting her shop. Every evening before she leaves she re-dresses, head to toe, 6 life-size mannequins. She says it takes her about an hour after closing, but she credits this to a good portion of her business’s success. The store is close to the University of Oregon, and explains Anne, “After I opened I noticed that a good portion of the female students that passed would look up at the window. That’s when I started changing clothes every night.” And it has paid off. The Clothes Horse has been in business for 16 years, and produces a very comfortable lifestyle for its owner. In the come-and-go world of boutique shops, Anne found a way to cement her place in the Eugene retail community without spending a dime. It just goes to show that developing a successful marketing strategy does not have to be complicated; it just has to be on target.
Beth Anne Whalen