Celebrity Side Hustle: Singer LeToya Luckett Talks Retail

Singer LeToya Luckett balances her music career and her retail businesses.

R&B songstress LeToya Luckett knows a thing or two about expanding a brand. The Grammy Award-winning artist sparked a successful solo career after her split from Destiny’s Child and opened her first clothing and accessories store, Lady L Boutique, in 2003. She kept the momentum going, opening a second Lady L location in Houston’s Galleria Mall. (And let’s not forget her latest addition to the empire: becoming the new face of Luster’s Pink Brand Smooth Touch haircare line.)

When it came to investing in a second store, finding the right location and having a good sense of the customer was top priority for Luckett. The customer base for the first location, a smaller boutique (formerly called Lady Elle) among other specialty luxury stores at Houston’s ritzy Uptown Park Mall, differs from that of the larger Galleria mall, which includes a mix of high-end and mid-priced stores such as Valentino, Macy’s, Gap, and Zara.

As a buyer, Luckett’s strategy for the second location was to offer the right inventory of clothing at the right price for the larger mall’s type of shoppers. “With the Galleria location, I choose more affordable pieces [based on the market there,]” she says. “You can’t have a high-end denim line at a location where [customers might only be able to afford $35 jeans],” she says.

Luckett’s Quick Tips:

Make sure you have great customer service. You have to know your customers’ unique needs and meet them.

Know that you’re making the right business move and not getting in over your head in opening an additional store. Know the risk factors and how much it will cost to run more than one store.

Know what your customers can afford. Choose a location that caters to the market you serve, or adjust accordingly if you’re moving into a larger, more general market location.

Further Reading: Location, Location, Location

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