Retail Is Not Dead.
It Has Evolved.
Our Retail Merchandising Company Proves Every Day That The Difference Between Brands That Fade Away and Brands That Resonate is Merchandising.
What exactly is merchandising? It’s having the right products, at the right price, at the right time, in the right places, at the right promotion, with the right people. Click here to learn more.
As Merchandising Strategists, we focus on “product-first”. As a product-based business, you should too.
Branding, Marketing, and Advertising are essential, but if you are missing Merchandising, you are missing a critical area of your operations. All major brands and retailers are driven by their merchandising departments. It is the core of any product-based business, acting as the glue between all of your business’s teams – marketing, design, inventory management, product development and production.
Examples Of Critical Questions We Provide Solutions For:
- Where can I buy the right product for my target customer?
- How do I competitively price my products?
- How can I create financial plans for my products?
- How can I optimize my website for more conversions?
- How can I drive traffic to my store?
- How can I expand my product offering?
- How do I create a buying strategy?
- How can I create an inventory management strategy?
- How can I better serve my customers?
Ways To Work With Us
Our Clients Have Something To Tell You
DeAnna conceptualized and brought to life one of the most beautiful events I've ever seen.
I met DeAnna through a shop that I was consulting for. She conceptualized and brought to life one of the most beautiful events I've ever seen. She is truly talented and detailed oriented in every definition of the word. She's meticulous to a fault; making sure every single obstacle that may arise has an effective solution. Aside from having a keen fashion sense and strong marketing and analytical skills, DeAnna is extremely personable and a pleasure to work with. She demonstrates a great deal of professionalism, empathy and creativity. Having DeAnna work on your next project is an excellent investment and you will not regret it!
To say DeAnna was critical to the business’ success is an understatement.
DeAnna was the most detailed, proactive and positive person I have ever had work for me. To say she was critical to the business’ success is an understatement. Anybody who has the pleasure of her on their team is truly fortunate.
DeAnna has helped me create a memorable brand.
DeAnna's experience as a brand strategist has helped me create a memorable brand, connect with my target audience and most importantly avoid non-effective advertising. I admire DeAnna's attention to detail and ability to execute any vision in front of her. She pushes the envelope on production and effectively manages big teams that I have worked with her to execute. It has been a pleasure to have worked with DeAnna.
DeAnna is an Excellent Strategist, Executor, and Deliverer.
DeAnna is an excellent strategist, executor, and deliverer. She helped me streamline my branding, she fixed problems that I didn't even know I had. She is a formidable source of great insight, she has a great eye for product direction.
DeAnna Explores Win-Win Solutions.
I worked with DeAnna when she was a Merchant at Chico's FAS and we were one of the key suppliers. DeAnna has clearly demonstrated her professionalism during our collaboration. She has been open to new ideas, willing to explore win-win solutions, not only solving problems but at the same time creating values to both parties. I personally look forward to having a chance to work with her again.
DeAnna Is A Strong Merchant and Business Woman.
I worked with DeAnna at Chico's FAS where was was the Merchant of Woven Tops. I found DeAnna to be a very strong merchant and business woman. She was frequently utilized to teach and train the merchandising team on system functionality and best practices and was a great resource. She had a strong work ethic and was a trusted and respected member of the team. DeAnna did the work of 2-3 people in reality many times. I also know she is very entrepreneurial and creative, traits which are great to possess! DeAnna excels at what she does!
Excellent Expo Results
We hired The Affinity Group for an expo and the results were amazing. We worked with DeAnna, and she made sure that weeks leading up to the expo we were in constant contact making sure that everything that our company needed to accomplish before the expo was being taken care of. She helped with picking out the overall theme of our booth for the expo and it turned out to be a hit with the patrons! We were amazed at her attention to detail when it came to things such as the way our product was hanging on the racks. She thought of ideas to make our booth stand out that we did not even think of beforehand, adding the final touches. We will gladly hire this company again!
The Affinity Group Has the Right Touch
DeAnna McIntosh is truly a professional when it comes to putting together an event with just the RIGHT people in just the RIGHT venue. She coordinated a Brunch & Learn event at a new downtown Fort Lauderdale Bar and Grill that was IDEAL for the topic we wanted to discuss (Financial Literacy) with the target audience I wanted: Young, Professional Up-and-Coming Millennials! The atmosphere was appropriate. The conversation was on-point and we all walked away feeling good about the experience. The Affinity Group has the right touch! Thanks, DeAnna.
Beautiful Design & Merchandising
On behalf of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, we would like to thank you for your event design and planning of the 33rd Annual MS Gala Luncheon. This event could not have been a success without your hard work and dedication. You nailed it and the display in the Silent Auction area was just what we were looking for. You have definitely made a difference and enriched the lives of countless number of people. It was a pleasure to work with you and we would like to thank you for your commitment to eradicating MS and giving those who live with MS hope for the future.
Make Decisions Backed By Sales Data and Industry Trends.
We Want To Get To Know Your Business
Complete our interactive form to give us details about your business, how we can best impact it, and what investment you are comfortable with.
Based on your responses, we’ll tell you which of our three services would be best to begin our partnership and give you the option to book and get started.
Our Day of Strategy and Strategy Consulting Services Include:
Initial phone or video consultation
Access to your exclusive digital project portal
Ability to reach your Merchandising Strategy Consultant via phone and unlimited emails
Ability for your Merchandising Strategist to attend trade shows and events both with you and for you
Building custom sales and merchandise reports to help you better analyze your data
Tasks, deadlines, and milestones will be assigned, and Gantt Chart will be created to track overall progress
Merchandise Buying & Planning
Before you purchase merchandise or materials, you must have a financial plan and inventory strategy in place. This involves establishing your sales and gross margin plan by year / month / week, for every item currently in your line and future items you want to bring in. Without this plan, you will not know how much inventory you need to purchase and sell to hit your goals, and will not be able to make revenue-driven decisions.
Finding the perfect products for your shop is not an easy feat. We will help you source products that fit your target clientele’s desires, consult with you on negotiating terms with the vendors, make sure that you’re purchasing enough items to hit your sales plans. Every merchandise purchase you make should be based on your sales history and where the industry is trending. We will even accompany you to the trade shows to help you navigate them and to help execute our strategic plan.
A critical part of analyzing your sales is establishing attributes for your assortment: Style, Trends, Price bands, Design Details, Fabrics, Textures, Colors, Finishes, Sleeve Length, and the list continues. The more attributes your products have, the deeper you can dig into their selling and the smarter your decisions become. We will help you establish attributes for all of your past, current, and future products.
We will work with you to ensure you have the right product mix to hit your sales goals, that your merchandise is priced right, and that your shop is optimized for sales. For brands, that involves ensuring that you are developing updates to your best sellers, and chasing emerging trends. For e-commerce stores, that involves ensuring that the taxonomy of the site allows for a seamless shopping experience. For retailers, this involves ensuring your store is merchandised in a way that allows for ease of shopping.
Product Lifecycle Management
Trend and Design Advising
Businesses with an in-house design team require full product lifecycle management, from design to sample making to technical fittings, to landing the products in their warehouse. We consult with you on what’s trending in your industry, the “must haves” for your new collection, and provide feedback on design concepts and samples. We will even accompany you to the factories to see the samples in person.
Product / Business Launch
Together we will map out the process for starting your new product or venture from start to finish and bring the launch to life. We will be your project managers, ensuring all tasks are outlined with deadlines and milestones, which rolls up into your master Gantt chart, enabling you to immediately see the status of your launch at any given time. We will play a key role in executing the marketing of your line / shop to the public, ensuring that you have all marketing materials in place to be successful.
Sales & Financial Agility
Promotional & Markdown Merchandise Management
Although we use strong sales data and industry research to make all decisions, there will always inevitably be some “misses” with some products which forces us to promote the items at a lower price or mark them down as clearance. These misses could be for various reasons – quality issues, trend dying out, item competing against a similar item in your line, etc. In any promotional merchandise situation, the end goal is to preserve as much margin as possible. We carefully analyze each slow selling item to understand the cause, and assign a promotional price to the item and evaluating the margin impact. We then roll up all of the items to understand the total margin impact, and ensure that we do not exceed your margin plan that you set for that time period.
Having an in-depth understanding of your sales strategy and sales reporting is critical to ensuring you make purposeful decisions in your business. You must understand what metrics to look at and when, how to spot a positive or negative trend in your sales and action to it, and how to create new streams of sales revenue. If you are needing more than what your current sales reports are providing, we will make new reports for you that pull in all data needed to make strategic decisions.
Every season, you have a gut feeling on what your top sellers in your line will be. Together we will predict which items those will be and create marketing and promotional campaigns around them. We will also make campaigns around your brand as a whole and strategize innovative ways to reach your target clientele.
General Business Management
We empower you to take control over your business output through creating and streamlining business processes and systems, creating effective client workflows, and creating project plans. We give you more time to spend on the parts of the business you love, and we take care of the rest.
Have questions? We’re here. Schedule a free discovery call.
Resources for Boutiques and Brands
Let's Get Real
Everyone and Their Mother Claims to be a Strategist or Coach.
If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, we’re confident that a big portion of your social news feed is someone trying to sell you on their masterclass, mastermind, online course, webinar, or group strategy session. In the sea of options, who is real? Who actually knows what they’re talking about and has experience versus just selling you the dream? Like grandma says, “You can’t believe everything (or everyone) you see on the internet”.