Back-to-school winners, based on my retail scouting over the last few weeks include Brandy Melville, American Eagle, and Urban Outfitters (which seems to be in a fashion sweet spot at the moment). For guys it’s all about the sneakers. I have never seen such long lines, as I have this summer, at places like Supreme and Kith! Also, lots of shopping bags from Adidas being toted around town.
Here are 5 retail experiences I’m tracking:
1. PRODUCT DROPS: Great piece in BOF on Thursday on how streetwear brands like Supreme do product “drops” on a weekly basis to create excitement and give customers a sense of consistency.
Ryan Willms of Stussy told BOF: “People are a lot more aware and the customer just demands a lot more now. They want more product more often.”
Additionally, by undersupplying demand with tight distribution and limited quantities, the strategy generates excitement and encourages customers to constantly re-engage, creating a new kind of consumer ritual.
2. PLACEMAKING: An urban planning term defined as “building dynamic and engaging environments that have the ability to inspire and create a sense of place or community.” Per CBRE Group: “Such environments offer customers experiences they can only receive by visiting in person. Enhancing dining or shopping experiences with new technology is a critical component.”
3. RESTAURANTS AND ENTERTAINMENT : Consumer demand is driving a constant influx of new restaurant concepts taking over from traditional retail. A food hall renaissance is also occurring nationally – offering a wide variety of menu options, typically from local chefs testing restaurant concepts.
Read on below for more including info on the new app, Vacant New York, which tracks all the empty storefronts in NYC:
4. RUNWAY-TO-RETAIL: Topshop is adopting this initiative for their spring/summer 2017 show. It is taking place in London’s Old Spitalfields Market where, in keeping with the history of the venue, the brand will host a pop-up stall – open to the public where the collection will be available to buy following the show’s finale.
5. DIGITAL PHOTO STUDIO: Blink, a technology-driven photo shoot experience, will open in Santa Monica Place before the holidays 2016. The company formed an alliance with Macerich, one of the nation’s leading owners, operators and developers of retail properties in top markets. The result of each shoot is a collection of hundreds of photographs that consumers and businesses can view, buy and share instantly via Blink Inc.’s website. Shoots start at $25.
And finally, the biggest trend of all until we are no longer over-stored:
Programmer Justin Levinson is exploring empty storefronts through a new map called Vacant New York, which provides a startling picture of 1,000 Manhattan shuttered storefronts. The site points to Soho as a prime example–“one of the most expensive shopping districts in the city is littered with vacancies.”
There are about 2,500 store closings in the works across the U.S. from a variety of retailers including Aeropostale, Chicos, Finish Line, Macy’s, Walgreens, Office Depot.
These had been the bright spot in retail but now seem to be slowing down with only 6 outlet malls nationwide expected to open this year, down from 18 in 2015.
Retail vacancy rates have risen above 10% for the first time since April 2015, according to a quarterly research report published on Monday by the British Retail Consortium and research group Springboard. The rise is being partly blamed on start-up retail businesses taking short term leases, but then failing to convert them into longer agreements.