It’s hard to disagree with the fact that the way we shop is dramatically different now than it was in previous generations – even in the last few years.
But to say that “retail is dead,” a common headline in the news, is also not true. Retail isn’t dead, but it is changing and we’re excited to be on the forefront of a new era of shopping.
We spoke with Arielle’s husband Brandon, who is an expert in the commercial real estate space and the founder of Current Real Estate Advisors, on his thoughts. He immediately pointed us to this thesis he read by Rachel Gimuriman, a graduate of Penn State University with a Supply Chain and Information Systems Major that is especially relevant to this topic.
In her thesis, Rachel talks about how generic stores and static brands have lost their ability to maintain consumers, especially experience-hungry millennials who are more concerned with showing the world their interesting lives on social media. Traditional retailers are now pairing up with digital brands and bringing them into their brick and mortar stores to experiment with new formats and gain consumer insights through the data they collect.
The perfect example is how Nordstrom partnered with Something Navy. Here we have a traditional retailer taking note of the massive organic and incredible ability to influence millennials to make purchases, both digitally and in-stores. This type of collaboration that was previously unheard of is now starting to be the retail norm.
Brandon also talks about the similarities he sees in his commercial real estate business. Before, commercial real estate firms didn’t care about what happened after the lease was signed. Brandon argues that in this world, the old approach is simply not enough and “we not only find our clients (Equinox, Bandier Fitness, Museum of Ice Cream, Charlotte Tilbury, Dagne Dover) the best locations, but also assist with marketing via social media to help convert e-traffic to foot traffic in stores, essentially clicks to bricks. In my opinion, everything has to be Instagrammable down to the brokers that are finding the location for the retailer. It’s a 360 degree approach.”
We’ve all seen the way Insta-moments impact our spending habits, whether we’re buying something for our ‘gram or buying something because we saw it on the ‘gram. What’s most interesting is how big brands are starting to take notice.
Additionally, brands who started out as online-only are increasingly adding physical retail to their growth strategies. Consider the expansion of Warby Parker, Glossier, Away and Rent The Runway as perfect examples of digitally native brands who made the jump to brick and mortar and saw their bottom lines benefit as a result. Each of these companies understands the value of investing in physical retail to increase their online and overall presence.
We’re proud to be apart of some of the biggest shifts in the retail landscape because to us, it means more communication with our fans and more opportunities to create products we know you will love. If anything, we feel retail is more connected and alive than ever before.