Leaves are changing, pumpkin spice lattes are a brewin’ and that means one thing Fall is here. The beginning of Fall signals the end of the year and prompts a chance to reflect on the year soon coming to a close. It is now that businesses and from every industry are reflecting on the performance of the past year and make conclusions on how 2017 was as a whole. Publications across all industries, including this one, have reported again and again on the retail “apocalypse.” It has been hard to ignore the closing of many stores ranging from small Mom and Pop shops to major American heritage retailers.
….. So who has been hit the hardest in 2017? The answer: Apparel companies.
This year has given new meaning to the “fashion victim.” Forbes reported that fashion brands can blame technology is the number one reason behind the decline of the fashion boutique. With consumers being more comfortable with shopping for clothing online, e-commerce is booming while foot traffic through a brick and mortar store is slowing. Companies that are still thriving are ones that offer shopping as an experience and who embrace having an Omni- channel presence that can seamlessly merge online and in-person shopping.
On the other hand, this year we have also reported that companies are changing with consumer trends and that retailers need not give up hope. But, instead work to reinvent themselves along with the the people they aim to serve. This is something that can be accomplished by:
- Having an Omni-channel experience for guests.
- Realizing consumers have the power and they must be given what they want.
- Embrace social media and trends.
- Give them a reason to walk through that door whether that be through service they cannot get online.
The retail landscape is changing as fast as the aforementioned Fall leaves. In the past couple years, we have seen rapid changes to retail across all industries, but looking around a local mall shows evidence that fashion really has been the one that’s been hit the hardest. It has become survival of the fittest to see who sticks around, but it will be the one that is able to satisfy consumer wants and needs who ends up with lasting power.