Retail Detail. CEO of Intermix Shares Secrets of Success

February 22, 2011 • Shopping

Khajak Keledjian with Savannah Miller at an Intermix party

So the shows have just wrapped in New York and while London, Paris and Milan have yet to be completed, U.S. fashionistas are already staring to ask, "Where can I get those looks?" Luckily, they're knight in (designer) shining armor is not far off as Khajak Keledjian, co-founder and CEO of Intermix, is already handpicking styles from various designer showrooms to show up in stores.

Keledjian spearheads his own retail initiative of mixing together pieces from some of the most of the moment designers to create a head to toe look that's designer and on trend, but not homogenized. "Some labels can make a great jacket, and some can make a great jean," Keledjian told The New York Post. "If one vendor tells me, 'Take both because we make both,' that doesn't fly with me."

And his picky taste pays off since Intermix's method of inventory keeps their customers coming back in droves. Last year, Intermix posted more than $100 million in sales, with its sales at stores open at least a year surging more than 20 percent. This year, Intermix will add at least three new boutiques to its US chain, including one in New York's Meatpacking District.

And though the designers can sometimes be put off of Keledjian's 'this but not that' selection approach since they are typically looking to sell their entire line, others respect Keledjian's commitment to his customers. "The first time he bought our line, Khajak said he would only buy what he liked," recalled David Neville, co-founder of Rag & Bone. "But it was the right level of honesty — what they buy has got to sell." Andrew Rosen, founder of Theory, second that notion saying  Keledjian's level of focus on his clientele is  "a throwback to the old days of merchants running their store." Khajak's not coming in with reports of what he sold last year," Rosen said. "He's into clothes that have a sense of urgency, that the customer's got to have. He's betting his own money every day."

-Alia Rajput
Article Source: The New York Post
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