Established in 1946, Ten Thousand Villages is the original Fair Trade retailer. While, Fair Trade and artisanal goods have become the way of the world, Ten Thousand Villages is currently losing money. How can we turn it around and become profitable?
how we got smart
Shop-alongs | Interviews | Social Listening | Survey | Competitive Analysis
what we learned
The brand's commitment to being Fair Trade has become a double-edged sword. To support their network of artisans, they purchase anything and everything that is produced. They now have more inventory than they can sell.
To shoppers, the excess inventory comes across as an overwhelming selection of products that have no rhyme or reason.
One shop-along participant went into the store looking to purchase a gift for her mother-in-law. She didn't find the right gift, but ended up purchasing chocolate bars just to avoid not spending any money.
The brand's communications only focus on the poverty of the artisans and not the products.
People feel like they are shopping in a charity, rather than a retail store. When they don't make a purchase, they feel guilty.
People aren't sure why they should go to Ten Thousand Villages and when they do, they feel guilty if they don't buy something.
Balance can be restored between the mission and retail operations.
Implementing a product mix that's focused on homewares will provide a definitive reason to visit the shop. It will also reduce the complexity and cost of inventory.
Updated brand positioning
Ten Thousand Villages is a curated collection of home essentials, celebrating artisans around the world.
- Cleaner look and feel, consistent with our more focused product selection.
- Icon is now mobile-friendly
Local Artisan Display
- Each location will now feature products produced by local artisans
- People are more likely to shop at stores that offer local products.
- Spotlighting items draws attention to them and increases sales.
generate curiosity, not sympathy.
A passion for process.
- "The Hands Behind Handmade" series will tell the stories of Ten Thousand Villages' artisans and products.
- Posts incorporate the "Shop Now" feature to drive online sales.
- Receipts tell shoppers how many miles that their item has traveled.
- Scan the barcode at the kiosk to learn the story behind your purchase.