Have you ever wondered how one restaurant is constantly busy, while another one across the street is empty? 2017 has been dubbed The Retail Apocalypse by many media outlets due to companies like Ralph Lauren, BCBG, Michael Kors, Guess, Abercrombie & Fitch, closing stores nationwide. As a commercial real estate advisor and developer of retail properties who’s worked with companies like The Gap, UNIQLO, MUJI, and Luis Vuitton, and long time deal maker in the fashion district, I can tell you first hand we’re seeing a shift in how entrepreneurs in fashion are conducting business and creating revenue.
Pop Up Shops: Pop up shops are truly the epitome of today’s feeling toward long term commitments. Why rent a space for a long period of time in a market that isn’t as low risk as it once was? Pop shops are that way to give the customer a limited amount of time to purchase an item in real time. It makes them feel obligated to buy it now before missing out on it. Companies save big time through this method and it gives them the option to only be in business for seasons and promotions they deem worthy. Kanye West’s Pablo, Kloe Kardashian’s Good American, Adidas, Check out this article on pop up shops here.
Online to Brick & Mortar: Yes, you’ve read that right. Not brick and mortar to online, that’s going the wrong way nowadays. To get your footing off on the right start: test the waters out as an online retailer. Build your loyal fan base, and become such a sensation that your customers are basically demanding you to actually open up shop. It’s working for brands like Everything But Water, Alo Yoga, and Bonobos.
Social Media: This is an obvious one isn't it? Yeah I’m sure you remember contests like the Instagram promotion by Sunny Co Clothing right? Repost and receive a free bathing suit, you just cover the shipping charges. It got thousands of reposts, but couldn’t exactly make due on its promise. This goes to show you, social media can turn you into an internet star in a matter of hours - just make sure you actually have the means when you incur such a high demand. Read the full story here.
Showroom Spaces: 212 Showroom located in the fashion district neighborhood in NYC. The company decided to create a space for designers to showcase their pieces. They then host at least 65 trade shows a year allowing designers the chance to be seen and give them the opportunity of being picked up by boutiques and retailers. This is a play on the real estate. Although fashion showrooms have been around for decades, this new wave of showrooms specifically choose and curate their designers for a specific audience or a specific group of buyers.
Collaborations: Supreme X Luis Vuitton, Supreme x Gucci, Fenty x Puma, Gigi Hadid x Tommy Hilfiger, KENZO x H&M etc etc. Brands today are coming together to really make something interesting for their shoppers. This not only allows brands (like Luis Vuitton) to either break into a completely different demographic or expand that fan base.
In times of transition and chaos, there are always any opportunities once you look past the problems. We’ve seen this in every financial crisis and every shift in consumer behavior. This is what we’re seeing as service providers to the fashion industry. Are you seeing any other trends?
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