To be perfectly honest I was “scooped” out many many years ago but there was a point where I liked the place. In the mid-late 90’s Intermix and Scoop were born. I was always partial to Intermix but I certainly was happy to stop by Scoop.
As someone who has kept their eye on the retail world I certainly remember when these stores opened because they were new concepts. Highly curated stores with interesting brands. The people who worked at the stores were pretty savvy on how to put you together too. Mostly cutting edge fashion coming from across the globe. And then one day it wasn’t.
At first the stores grew. The bigger they grew the less curated they could become because they had to carry brands that could supply 4+ stores, then 10+ stores and more. Also brands grew and those cool unique brands became big huge brands that weren’t so hip anymore. Each of those brands evolved into something else and so did the stores.
I knew their reign was over about 5 years ago when I was shopping in Scoop out in East Hampton. I strolled by, stopped in to see what was new and ended up trying on a sweater. A ridiculously over priced sweater that really should not have been in Scoop because it was not for their customer anymore. I couldn’t decide and then the sales person told me that I need to make a decision because they had 3 sold this morning and only had one left. The hard sale? I passed. I remember walking out of the store and thinking really? Who do they think their customer is?
I learned at Macy’s when the tried to go “upscale” for the masses that it doesn’t work. Know who your customer is and create the right assortment and environment for them and they will be loyal. Both Intermix and Scoop grew just like Theory and Rag and Bone and Alexander Wang did. It is how the business works. You grow….and you are always growing, changing and tweaking otherwise you die.
Intermix figured out how to exit at the right time, unfortunately Scoop did not. And with that sweet exit Intermix figured out how to have a pretty large company in a market that only needed one of these chain of stores.
interesting what happens when you put limits on yourself-and don’t try to be all things to all people
Interesting insights on how the retail industry has had to adapt. I noticed the Scoop store here in Boston has been liquidating all their stock for the past month while Intermix is the only store in town that carries my favorite designer and keeps me coming back.
The bigger they grew the less curated they could become because they had to carry brands that could supply 4+ stores, then 10+ stores and more. Also brands grew and those cool unique brands became big huge brands that weren’t so hip anymore. Each of those brands evolved into something else and so did the stores.I love posts like this. Type of thing they try to teach in business school (by way of case studies and lectures) but doesn’t stick the way it does in real life. That is why those “corporate types” often get it so wrong and miss. Such a basic concept. Many of these degreed clones never thought about business until they got their MBA (their UG majors were, say, liberal arts). Not knocking all people like that (many have been successful). But they also tend to miss really obvious things such as what you have pointed out here.The bigger they grew the less curated they could become because they had to carry brands that could supply 4+ stores, then 10+ stores and more. What interesting is how Whole Foods has handled this problem. They offer many small and local sourced products (at least in the ones that I have been at) and those brands will never go further than the regional whole foods stores so they won’t be in a position to ever lose the edge and they in theory will always be hungry and still managed by the entrepreneur and not a major brand.  My person feeling is that WF has, with this, developed a brilliant way to supply their stores with product and at the same time retain significant control over costs (on the backs of the small entrepreneur). I could be wrong but that is my take.
I don’t buy a great deal of clothes but when I was in a pinch last year and needed a white shirt for a wedding I decided to try Brooks Brothers for the first time. I was amazed at the great service that I got (and this was dressed very schleppy when I went in) and also the quality of the shirt (was roughly $120 iirc.). Later I received a hand written note from the salesman (attached a picture). I’ve gotten and kept a bunch of notes like this over the years (Coach as another example when I have bought something for my wife). It definitely influences my buying decision going forward….
Good for you for buying Coach for your wife, Mr. LE.
Complete side note, but I was walking to my apartment on Washington Street and saw the Scoop liquidation. Then I passed Gotham Gal and her husband (I presume) walking through the garden in front of my building. I spy Joanne Wilson.