I really think that the founder of Kitson, Mr. Fraser Kitson Ross is genius for marketing & business. He knows how to entertain customer, and he knows what L.A. is and how to enjoy L.A.
About Kitson and Fraser, I have written a lot on Senken-Shimbun and LA Celeb (their business closed, but it was a popular Japanese online shopping site), and I also made a story about Kitson on Japanese TV program (TBS TV).
At this time, I interviewed Fraser and wrote an article about Kitson, him and his new store KITROSS on Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion business newspaper).
If you want to know about Kitson, Fraser and KITROSS, read below.
My translation (into English) is not perfect, but my Japanese article is more than perfect, ha ha… ; )
Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion business newspaper)
Article about Kitson and KITROSS by Yoko Fujimoto
Published on paper on June 27, 2016
■■”Kitson” re-started with “KITROSS”
■”Actually, I love L.A.”
■L.A. casual clothing and pop culture are the best in the world
Popular L.A. celebrity casual clothing boutique ”Kitson” in Los Angeles, U.S.A. has been closed last December, and all 18 stores closed in January this year. And then the founder of “Kitson”, Mr. Fraser Kitson Ross has been started the new boutique business.
On May 28th the new boutique called “KITROSS” (total floor space: 5,000 square foot) opened on Robertson Blvd. in West Hollywood which is the same space of The original “Kitson” flagship boutique.
Concerning the closing by “Kitson”, Mr. Ross opened his mind and said, “In 2013 I couldn’t operate temporarily the boutique due to personal reasons. I needed to resolve the financial problem when I opened 6 store locations quickly last spring, so I sold some stocks to a company (Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc.). But I became a victim of fraud by the company (I lost $2 million and management right, and they didn’t pay fees to many brands, and then they told me suddenly about the bankruptcy). I also lost my face and they disgraced Kitson’s name. At this time we are preparing for four lawsuits.”
Mr. Ross is also trying to make Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc. to pay fees to brands which were Kitson’s suppliers.
Mr. Ross had opened the boutique “KITROSS” that the name is a mix perning from Mr. Ross’s middle name and last name, and he told us about why he started this new business.
“L.A. has always sunny and the weather is warm year-round, and we can enjoy casual atmosphere and pop culture in L.A. I actually love L.A. This city has big power and one of the attractive cities in the world. I pride myself that Kitson was the only boutique which had a L.A. lifestyle theme. So that’s why I wanted to open the boutique which introduce L.A. pop culture” Mr. Ross said.
Mr. Ross had run business of Kitson since March 2000 until May 2015. He has experience of boutique business about 30 years including his 14 year-boutique business in Toronto, Canada.
He emphasized that “I had learned about boutique business that we need to avoid socialized with clients and keep distance from clients professionally, and most important thing is honesty.”
“Kitson” quickly became famous as a popular celebrity casual clothing boutique which has many young teenager fans. The key of this success was the young celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff etc. The paparazzi helped to bring celebrities to the boutique. He had a strategy that he makes popularity of celebrities and boutique both at the same time.
Mr. Ross is going to aim a “slow process” business for KITROSS which means he would like to expand his new business by word of mouth.
Regarding the reason of this new business strategy, Mr. Ross explained “Social media is everything. Consumer has own opinion because of that. That’s why we don’t use advertisement and we let consumer to find our boutique by naturally, and then I hope those customer will use social media (SNS) to inform about our boutique like word of mouth. I did only that I called hotel concierges to inform about our boutique for tourists”.
“Kitson” used to displayed premium jeans and reasonable price products on the floor casually together as a unique effort due to make customer feel free to purchase expensive and in expensive products. At the “KITROSS”, Mr. Ross is displaying accessories, mug cups, stationaries, books with T-Shirts, pants and caps, which means customer don’t need to think too much about shopping, and customer could make decision to purchase products easier.
“This idea works at this time. Many our customer purchases 3 products at one time, for example T-shirts, baseball cap and book, or Toy, socks and candy”, Mr. Ross said.
Every season they think about what customer wants and they buy products, and they have new products every day. They have 30 boxes of new products every day, and they change display with fresh products.
At this time they have about 800 customers every week, but “it will be double of this number by summer”, Mr.Ross predicted.
The concept of “KITROSS” is entertainment lifestyle boutique with a L.A. theme. Main products are products which customer can feel L.A. pop culture. Clothing (women, men, kids and baby) are not many (30% of total products), jewelry, accessories, books, goods, toys, candy etc. There are 500 brands products at this boutique.
“We can’t compete with fast fashion stores if we have only clothing. At this time our boutique’s best seller products are trendy choker and toy for swimming pool.”
Regarding the clothing best seller brands are Brian Lichtenberg, Lauren Moshi, Chaser and DIESEL.
“The era of premium denim is over. There are many women wear leggings instead of denim. I am expecting that YEBA clothing which has colorful leggings will sell a lot.”
About the future plan, Mr. Ross said “I would like to have boutiques in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong with license business. Near future I might open a pop-up store in Santa Monica.”
Regarding the lawsuit, Mr. Ross’s lawyer, Mr. Glenn Joseph Feldman said, “The cause of bankruptcy of Kitson was new management company didn’t listen to Mr. Ross’s idea which he wanted to reduce clothing and add more goods. And the company opened new Kitson locations in bad area etc. Since 17 years ago Mr. Ross has been made good brand name and good reputation of Kitson, so we would like to get good reputation and good name back. We will sue Salus Capital, Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc., Jeffer Mangels and Chris Lee, and we are going to have four lawsuits.” (Writer, Yoko Fujimoto)
Founder of Kitson and KITROSS Mr. Fraser Kitson Ross
KITROSS (in front)
Unique display idea at KITROSS
YEBA clothing which has colorful leggings will sell a lot for sure
At this time the best seller toy for swimming pool
I agree with Fraser, “honesty” is the key to everything.
I hope you enjoyed his story.
By Yoko Fujimoto
June 27, 2016
Copyright © 2016 Yoko Fujimoto