Founded in 2009, Retro Styler was formed by husband and wife Luca and Sally Salamone who were inspired by their own love of shopping for retro merchandise online.
While they found many specialist online sellers focused on retro sweets, branded gifts, and retro clothing, they spotted a gap in the market for a one-stop-shop retro-focussed retailer where fans of particular brands, characters, and franchises could browse product ranges.
Luca Salamone, Marketing Manager at Retro Styler, says:
“The ecommerce space was new to us, but we put the time and effort into our research. It was a steep learning curve building up our baseline knowledge on sourcing, building relationships with warehouses, and testing out product ranges. We started small at first, but we built up knowledge about our customer base over time.”
Luca and Sally began selling on eBay, running the business outside of their day jobs, and steadily built up inventory from 150 SKUs to 2,000 by reinvesting all profits back into the business. Seeing success on eBay, the retailer added Amazon UK as a selling channel, adding international Amazon stores to reach more shoppers in other markets.
Driven by the need to manage inventory more closely, Retro Styler partnered with Linnworks for multi-channel listing, inventory management and order management software.
Retro Styler immediately saw the benefits of using Linnworks as a central platform to manage multichannel inventory.
Luca adds: “While we have built up a good understanding of our target audience and can see patterns of which merchandise and product lines will sell well, there are often surprise hits that vary by market or by brand. With Linnworks we have one location to manage all our inventory and don’t have to assign stock to each separate channel. It means we can make more of our range available wherever customers are finding our products online.”
Efficiencies gained using Linnworks have empowered Retro Styler to further expand product ranges, with some collections exceeding 1,000 SKUs.
Seeing success on multiple marketplaces, Retro Styler has further expansion in mind for the year ahead and plans to make all products available to shoppers in all markets.
“We need Linnworks to achieve multichannel growth,” comments Luca. “Being able to track the performance of different product lines on each marketplace using Linnworks helps us make informed business decisions and reassures us that we’ll be able to build a presence on more marketplaces.”
In addition to channel expansion, Retro Styler plans to optimize warehouse operations.
Luca explains, “Right now we’re picking alpha-numerically by individual SKU but we plan to make use of Linnworks bin and rack locations to improve our packing process, and use pickwaves to avoid errors in the warehouse. Linnworks has proven to be logical and intuitive, and we can customize our offline workflows to be replicated in the platform.”
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