Mary & Morris offers a pop-up retail concept to Tryon

Published 10:23 pm Sunday, December 15, 2013

A selection of men and women's clothing from well-known lines. (poto by Kirk Gollwitzer)

A selection of men and women’s clothing from well-known lines. (poto by Kirk Gollwitzer)

Mary-Wells Prioleau, the owner of Mary & Morris, plans to capitalize on a new marketing concept known as Pop-up retail with her designer brands of clothing which includes names like: v, French Dressing, Knock-out and Luii.

Beer steins, cups, hats and more are emblazoned with Morris the horse at Mary & Morris. (photos submitted)

Beer steins, cups, hats and more are emblazoned with Morris the horse at Mary & Morris. (photos submitted)

“For periods of six weeks at a time, I want to bring in designer products that are fresh and exciting and sell them at a significantly lower price than anyone else,” said Prioleau.  Then Prioleau says she wants to shut down and refresh her inventories for one month.

Pop-up retail or flash retailing is an emerging marketing trend that is gaining popularity throughout the U.S. and elsewhere.   In the UK and Australia, Pop-up shops are leveraging short-term advertising blasts on social media platforms by announcing upcoming, short-term sales while-supplies-last.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The trend involves popping-up one day for a sample sale, cocktail party or the entire holiday season, selling out the entire inventory and then disappearing for a period of time to recharge.  After a few weeks or a month the store reopens either at the same place or somewhere else completely different with a limited line of inventory of fresh offerings.

Pop-up shops are proving to be successful for both the entrepreneurs and top designers where excitement is built through opening announcements that include new offerings, fresh ideas, and social get-togethers. The upside to the concept is that sales can be generated without having the concern lagging of inventory and the overhead burden of a long -term lease.

From January 2008 through July 2013 Prioleau owned and operated Tryon House, a successful clothing store that sold mid-priced fine clothing, accessories and knick·knacks which embellished the popularity of  Morris the Horse, a wood carver’s version of a toy horse.

Prioleau said that she was looking for an exciting new concept that would relieve her of the long hours of maintaining a constant presents in the center of Tryon.

“I plan to be open for six weeks at a time and then be closed for one month,” said Prioleau.

During her time off, Prioleau plans to work the designer markets for freshest and latest products and stage them for an exciting re-opening the month following.  Prioleau said that she will reenter the market with exciting new men’s and women’s items consisting of only three or four each.

“It’s important to some folks that they not run into another person in town wearing the exact same item.  I try to make sure that never happens,” said Prioleau

Prioleau has a love for the people of Tryon and the motto on her sign out front reads: “Come in – Browse – Chat.” Prioleau says that she wants to create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable and certainly not sold-to.

However, she also wants to beat her competitors through noticeably lower sales mark-ups and price matching.

“I want to provide better designer lines and sell them at lower prices than anyone else around,” said Prioleau.

According to Prioleau, the standard industry sales mark-up in her niche market is about 2.35 percent.  Prioleau plans to bolster her sales revenue by dropping that percentage down to 1.6 percent.

“I want to sell volume to our loyal customers and provide them with items that are virtually one-of-a-kind,” said Prioleau.

Currently the shop is located in Tryon at 163 Trade Street.  A life-size bust of the shy little Morris sits just outside the door on wheels, while his same image is etched in martini glasses, sewed into shirts and overcoats, and weaved into guest towels.

Although Prioleau enjoys a blend of patronage with shoppers from as far away as Greenville and Charleston, she has no plans to either expand or move to a large urban area.  “I have exactly what I want here in Tryon.  There’s a level of intelligence and comfort with the people of this community where everyone is judged for who they are and I like that a lot,” said Prioleau.

For more information on Mary & Morris visit them on Facebook or call: 828-899-9699