More on retail

imgresEven if you aren’t a shopper we all know that retail is changing.  Walmart is closing stores, Macy’s is laying off people, Gilt Groupe exited for less than it raised…need I go on?

This is a topic that fascinates me because I started my career in retail.  Those were the days that you had to go to a store to buy something.  Now you don’t have to leave your couch.  When I go into the stores I am not that excited.

There has to be a reason to want to go into a store.  Retailers need to be focused on what makes people want to come in.  The old ways do not work anymore.  Putting out new product on a t-stand isn’t that exciting.  It has to be about the overall experience.  Bryce Howard, the actress, went to Neiman-Marcus to buy her dress for the Golden Globes.  Any designer could have made a dress to fit her but perhaps she just enjoyed the experience of taking time out to shop for herself.

If customers are treated properly through a good experience they become loyal particularly women.  There is real data around it.  We are going to see massive change in how clothing is manufactured and what type of inventories are on the floor.  This generation is interested in sustainability and would rather spend excess cash on an experience or a trip vs more clothes or items.

Change the fitting rooms, change the experience, make the customer king/queen and most important make it enjoyable.  We will see in the next decade a major department store close shop based on lack of market share alone and if they can’t think out of the box there will be more than one that dies.