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The term "retail apocalypse" has been used pretty frequently in the past five years.
The retail apocalypse and the world is ending as we know it, at least, that is what they keep trying to tell us.
NO, NO, NO.
Retail is booming.
Do I need to spell it out for you? Just because some giant retail chains have closed or filed for bankruptcy does not not mean retail is gone for good. We, as humans, will always need/want clothing, and therefore, we need companies that are going to clothe us. It is as simple as that.
Retail, as we knew it, was vast and boring. It did not focus on the most important factor of the business.
You. The consumer.
If you take a look at companies you currently love, what do they all have in common?
Is it great customer service? Is it amazing deals with free exchanges/returns? Is it personalization and customization? Is it the relationship with the employees? Is it the size range?
What do all of these questions have in common?
The customer is at the center of why the brand/company is offering these incentives.
Not only do companies have to think about what the consumers want, but they also have to consider what the consumers need. This is where some companies have gone astray. Customers want and want and want, but if you cannot see past that initial want, you won't dive deep enough into what they actually need. They do not want crazy runway trends. They want quality.
Here is a list of companies that I think are paving the way for a new era of retail.
Speaking of Universal Standard, their name says it all. They are a company that is looking to be a standard among fashionistas universally. They just launched a collaboration with Rodarte, which is HUGE, and this is a great way for them to receive some much needed recognition. Being size inclusive and launching a "see your size" feature, they are considering what other companies are missing, and making it their mission to be on top!
This company is looking to combine convenience and fashion. It features stylists who hand select different items based upon guidelines set up by the user, and it results in a personal styling that comes straight to your door. I have a best friend who currently uses this service, and she loves it. She is able to work with the stylist if she thinks the selected outfits are not her style, and this has made her a loyal member. This system also eliminates the want to impulse buy, which will help consumers hone in on items that they can wear for longer and that will eliminate throw away mentality.
Of a Kind
I may be a bit biased, as one of the creators has ties to Minnesota, but this company, Of a Kind, is just as the name explains. Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo select authentic and of a kind pieces that are made by makers and movers. This platform is a way for independent designers and brands to be featured among other authentic and true creatives. These designers all have a passion for authenticity, but also thrive on kindness and positivity.
The first of its kind to pay attention to the use of natural fibers, merino wool, eucalyptus pulp, and sugar cane, Allbirds is an innovative brand. They saw a gap in the market for machine washable sneakers, and they took advantage of it. The laces are also sustainable, by being made of recycled plastic bottles. They have thought of the product as a whole and how it could fit into our society with ease. Allbirds uses sustainable materials to create comfortable, durable, and desirable footwear.
With the rising popularity, once again, of ballet flats this SS'19 season, Rothy's should be your go to. They're knit with 100% post-consumer plastic, as well as the insoles being made from recycled shoes. How cool! These shoes check all of the boxes, and then some.
Thrifting made easy. Instead of spending hours and hours in a thrift or vintage store, which I know a lot of people would not do, ThredUp brings the store to you. You have the ability to peruse online and narrow results to find exactly what you are looking for in a short amount of time. Who wouldn't want a great deal and to practice sustainability in the comfort of your own home?!
The Real Real
Luxury Consignment, because we know that with high-end designer brands rolling out new items frequently, there is no reason to purchase these items full price. The Real Real provides designer items on consignment, and gets you trendier in the fastest way possible! Also, being on consignment, this company is promoting circular fashion which, if you have not been paying attention, is the future of retail.
Have you noticed a shift in retail? Are you aware of what your favorite brands and companies are doing? Are they making positive changes to their offerings and experience?
Retail is evolving, just like everything else in this world, so keep up!
If you could only buy from one clothing brand/company for the rest of your life, which would you choose?