A new wave of retail has gathered strength. If the retail apocalypse scorched businesses that relied on high foot-traffic at the POS, the retail revival is about something completely different. Namely, retailers are expanding and resuscitating smaller and smarter. And it’s all built from click-and-bricks.
Retail Revival Means the Omnichannel
Whether it’s a resurrected brand, or a clicks to bricks strategy, the retail revival is happening. From big chains to startups, the new wave of retail rides on eCommerce working in concert with brick-and-mortar. And that’s just another way of saying omnichannel.
Reviving an Old Brand
American Apparel used to be a 280-store retail chain selling street clothes made in the USA. After its 2018 bankruptcy, underwear-maker Gildan bought the brand. Since then, Gildan has given new life to Apparel beginning with global eCommerce websites. But Gildan plans to open a new physical location to complement American Apparel’s online business. This will also set the stage for Gildan’s ongoing brick-and-mortar strategy.
Changing the Retail Concept
Another Montreal-based retailer has a very omnichannel concept of physical retail revival. Ssense sells independent luxury and streetwear brands. And with its new flagship boutique, customers don’t come in to browse. They shop online first, choose what they may want, then make an appointment to come in and try the clothes on. It’s similar to the showroom concept, and not unlike other retailers carving niches in omnichannel fashion.
In the omnichannel retail revival, smart growth isn’t opening a thousand new stores in a year. It’s about developing a unique brand and building a following. That’s the story of Wildfang, which is now opening its second physical store in five years. Wilfdfang sees brick-and-mortar as a physical hub for the community it built online. Its CEO says customers crave real, authentic experiences that neither digital (nor traditional) retail can provide.
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