Time to talk appointment fees... and talk about money. I thought it would be good for me to share the thinking behind this recently implemented procedure.
In Gwenne we offer a 75 minute appointment preceded by a pre bridal appointment zoom consultation. We try our hardest to make your appointment as tailored to you as we can. We decided in November 21 to start charging for appointments. Why? Because bridal boutiques do not operate like other clothes shops.
During your appointment you get exclusive use of Gwenne Edinburgh, yes that’s right the WHOLE boutique for just you and your bridal party. You get your own consultant who will give you one-to-one attention and help you find the MOST IMPORTANT dress that you will ever wear- your wedding dress. Our consultants are well trained and experienced and if you get me you get 20 years experience! We also pre covid provided tea, coffee and cakes as part of our appointments foc.
In Gwenne Edinburgh we are constantly busy and we actually haven't had a big problem with no shows but we have encountered clients recently who genuinely have had no intention of purchasing a dress from us.
We have had people saying: · I want to find my style, as I think I will buy online · I want to find my style here so I know what I suit before I get something made.
· I already have a dress, but family/friends are in town from elsewhere and I wanted them to have the bridal experience which they missed out on when I bought my dress.
We understand brides want to shop around and we encourage that. You have to be sure before you buy your dress it is the ONE. We are an independent boutique and we have to pay shop bills, our suppliers and my staff need paying regardless of sales so when someone comes into our shop without any genuine intent to buy it means our shop has just lost money and also we have had our time wasted. We were never into charging for appointments but after 20 years it does now mean our time is covered and it ensures the appointments are taken by people who are genuinely dress shopping. In Gwenne Edinburgh I hated turning away sisters/friends of previous clients because we had no availability and then to get a wee thank you saying someone had just been to get ideas so they could get a dress made really bugged my happiness.
The £25 we charge has not caused us to lose many bookings (2 or 3 to date) and everyone has been more than happy to pay when the thinking behind the fee is explained. We do refund the £25 if a dress is purchased withing 60 days.
So for us appointment fees are here to stay and we look forward to serving many more clients in 2022.