You have invited us to one of your boutiques, among clothes and designer objects. How do you define your activities?
This first boutique, which opened five years ago, is the result of our concept "The art of living according to Lucia". I never had the desire to sell a product; I chose to sell a lifestyle. I appreciate beautiful things, simple and modern objects. One finds timeless, colourful objects, clothing, footwear and decorative or useful objects.
What are your clients looking for in your boutique?
This variety of choice allows me to let the shop follow a seasonal rhythm. Clients do not know a lot about what they will find. They come to relax in another universe, more theatrical than in a shop where one goes to look for a certain article.
You have not limited yourself to only this one boutique?
I have three other boutiques. Three years ago, given the success of the first store, I opened a second store located opposite "Le Must by Alicia" a ready to wear boutique. Then we opened the "Loft" in Uccle, which has a large area of furniture and design products. Finally, last year I opened a fourth point of sale.
Every time I create a store, I think of the concept. "what is it that people must feel when they enter the store". I want something feminine, elegant, with an easy welcoming feel. Then I conceive the store based on this profile and choose the products according to that spirit. I look for unusual products, which obliges me to search in Scandinavia, Italy and Spain.
You chose Mercator business management for these four points of sale?
I started out with another application but during the opening of my third, I chose Mercator with Advensys (note: the dealer).
I found a very good team. They are well versed in utilizing the program and are very available. I think that Mercator is particularly well conceived for boutiques and is easy to use.
Did Mercator meet your expectations?
I am superbly satisfied, it is a good program but the luxury lies in the teams you have. It is impossible to manage this type of shop without a good programme.
Do you have specific needs?
In one of my shops, I only have samples and everything is available to order. My father being the producer of these products in Portugal, we are currently studying a portal to allow orders to come straight to him, directly from the boutique to production.
What progress have you made?
We have opened four boutiques in five years; the progress is very encouraging. All our boutiques are now working with Mercator. Between the second and third year, turnover exploded with growth of 40% due to the inclusion of clothing with the decor products.
People came to look for plates. If they did not find them, they left with a nice sweater. When one is looking for a present, one comes to Lucia, since everything is there.