Despite the retail climate across the market in 2016, we did note a few success stories. As the retail industry continues to evolve based on the changing consumer, we expect to see brick and mortar and digital experiences merge to create a type of retail theater in 2017.
Millennials continue to be a driving force that are changing the rules of retail. Not only are they the most important consumer audience, but they are also part of the work force, making business decisions that become more appropriate for today’s consumers’ interest.
With the increase of e-commerce, experiential retail adds to the omni-channel experience. It is a true traffic driving force to brick and mortar locations.
Many retailers and brands opened and revamped their flagship stores, creating lifestyle hubs inviting customers to experience what their brand truly offers.
Experience will function as both a means of entertainment and as a vehicle for selling.
Personalization to Customization
Consumers have moved away from carrying brand logos and would rather add a personalization to their product. Many retailers in 2016, have created space for customization stations in their stores. The majority of retailers offer the service free of charge and can be ready in minutes.
As we tracked Amazon in 2016, their fashion continued to grow as they made significant changes and investments to their fashion section.
With some brands now moving into Amazon and working alongside them, this has brought more dollars to brands and also taken away from department stores.
The marketing strategies for brands have been changing as social media plays a huge role in reaching out to consumers. As millennials obsess with sharing their daily moments, brands now work with influencers to reach a larger audience. Celebrity representatives and high profile models will continue to bring brands into the spotlight as they tapped into their large social media followings in 2016. Closing off 2016, Selena Gomez signed a $10 million deal with Coach which will include her input on their design.
The off-price sector has been able to maintain traffic despite their lack of online presence in some cases. In 2016, we saw a cleaner offering from them and many starting to increase their footprint across the U.S. and move into more urban locations
Off-price has also been able to connect with millennials through their assortment and ringing true as an authentic shopping experience.
Some markets also saw positive sales in 2016 like athletic footwear, home and beauty. We noted brands and retailers opening floor space to accommodate these products. For holiday sales, these markets have been consistent and we believe they will continue to be positive in 2017.
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