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Recycling the designer bag

  Services for lifestyles.
  Services for lifestyles.
It is the ultimate lifestyle service for the more affluent Australian: a "spa" where a customer can drop off that much-valued designer handbag.

Actually, at MyBagSpa, a two-year-old Melbourne-based firm with services across the country, it's not just bags but also leather jackets, shoes and accessories which are welcomed under the motto, "staying clean is beautiful".

The company also has a presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Dubai. It has certainly pushed along the trend towards spas of all kinds in the better-off Australian cities and neighbourhoods where nail spas, massage spas and hair salons are increasingly profitable if they offer the right standard of service.

There are two MyBagSpa stores in Melbourne, in prominent locations in the city centre. The newer one is on the ground floor of an office building, and right on the main street.

The focus is on the brand-conscious for whom a fashionable handbag is an investment and even a work of art.

The store décor and website project an upmarket, elegant and sophisticated image. Professionalism and personal care are watchwords, with the company claiming it cleans and restores brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Givenchy, Prada, Fendi, YSL among a number of others.

The range of services is actually quite extensive and includes colour restoration, oil extraction, silk treatments and shine restoration.

The company has reached further into its bag of options by offering so-called "pre-owned" designer label items, jumping on the coattails of the new craze typified by Hong Kong's Milan Station, which recently successfully listed in the SAR, for "second-hand" brands.

In addition, the company offers consignment sales services for a range of items including sunglasses, belts and even shoes. So owners of the so-called Pre-loved bags and other luxury items can also consign the products to the company for re-sale.

Buyers can examine products on the company's website, which has photos and descriptions.

Lifestyle services become creative

"Lifestyle services" are becoming de rigueur among wealthy Australians, to help manage their lives and organise "work and life balance" challenges.

These include personal concierge and lifestyle management services. Like the concierge in a hotel where guests ask for assistance, companies offer a "one-stop shop" for a wide range of services to assist customers.

They can organise a wedding, a family outing or holiday and even arrange home renovations, to name just a few well-publicised features.

Target customers tend, however, to be similar in having high disposal incomes but not enough time to organise their affairs. So individual service providers sometimes become "indispensable" and so are personally the main selling features.

Very often the service providers' credentials and client testimonials are highlighted and word of mouth becomes a key marketing tool.

One such business in Sydney is called Someone Lifestyle Services. Its slogan is: "everyone needs someone".

The business of lifestyle

Being a lifestyle trendsetter in Asia, Hong Kong can be a platform for companies to launch and market services. The SAR's entrepreneurs may want to tap into the growth potential of this industry.

At this stage, many of the lifestyle services businesses remain boutique in range and style.

For the business to grow, the company has to be able to develop, maintain and replicate the quality and consistency of the services, calling for organisation and logistical efficiency. These are often seen as Hong Kong traits Down Under.

from Bonnie Shek, Sydney Office

Tel: (61) 3-9654-1189, (61) 3-9654-1148
Email: enquiryaustralia@mybagspa.com.au
Web: http://www.mybagspa.com.au
Someone Lifestyle Services Tel: (61) 2-8064-4074
Email: someone@someone.com.au
Web: http://www.someone.com.au

Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council
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