Apricot Lane Brand Manager, Barry Shapiro Focuses On Connecting With Customers
Find fashion, fun and friends inside this South Florida boutique.
It’s best to have a friend who will give honest advice. That’s what fashion-forward women will find at Apricot Lane. Located in Delray Beach, Apricot Lane was created with one focus in mind: the customer. And for president and brand manager Barry Shapiro, there’s no forgetting that.
Having worked in retail since he was a teenager, Shapiro, who hails from New York, made his way to Florida’s east coast once he became the president of the Perry Ellis retail division. While in Las Vegas for business, Shapiro attended a convention during which Ken Peterson, CEO and founder of Apricot Lane, received an award.
“I had no idea there was such a thing as a retail franchise, because apparel doesn’t really lend itself to franchising,” Shapiro says. But once retail franchise was on his mind, it stuck. And eventually, Shapiro opened his first Apricot Lane store at The Promenade at Coconut Creek in 2008. He has since expanded to Delray Beach and at press time said a third boutique would open this spring inside the Wellington Mall.
Shapiro and his son, Matthew Shapiro (buyer and operations manager), strategically pick every piece that is featured in each store while keeping the appropriate customer in mind so that there are no similar sets or floor plans at any of the South Florida locations.
Clothing brands include Naked Zebra, Lush, Vintage Havana, Elan and Flying Monkey. There are also darling accessories and items that make for fabulous gifts. “We want you to be able to come in here 52 weeks a year and be able to shop,” Shapiro says. “We have no weeks when we don’t have new merchandise.”
Shop current styles that won’t be reordered once they are sold out. “We only sell what we think looks good—that’s the friend part,” he says. “Your friends aren’t going to lie to you. We’re not going to lie to you.”
Shapiro says Apricot Lane focuses on “connecting with the customer.” He incorporates the store’s tagline of “fashion, fun and friends” into his everyday operations, striving to make customers remember not only the clothes but also the sales associate.
Customers won’t typically see any sales signs in the store, which instead offers incentives to sign up for the Apricot Lane membership for loyalty-based discounts. Members have exclusive access to sales each week, in addition to a welcome and birthday discount. Plus, each time members spend $300, they receive $30 to use any way they’d like on a rolling basis.
Apricot Lane also offers “girls night out” events for enjoying wine and food samples while shopping every third Thursday of the month.
Apricot Lane, 4419 Lyons Road, Ste. 103C, Coconut Creek; 954.773.8515 / Delray Marketplace, 9169 W. Atlantic Ave, Ste. 120, Delray Beach; 561.270.2059 / apricotlaneboutique.com