was a test of survival of the fittest in the retail apparel world, and a bleak
year for many major retailers. It’s a long list that saw brick and mortar retailers
close tens to hundreds of stores – JC Penny, Macy’s JCrew, Gap, Gymboree, True religion to
mention only a few. And just days ago, most recent announcement – Charming Charlie to
close almost 100 stores.
retailers have seen the writing on the wall for several years with gains in retail revenue being driven
almost solely be ecommerce, which has seen growth at as high as 7% higher than
the retail sector in general. Brick and mortar shopping has been stagnating
with traditional retailers in the U.S. are
faced with flat or declining sales outside of online revenue growth.
And the more stores that close, the more consumers turn to the web to shop.
Pureplay online players are joining the market out of seemingly nowhere. eMarketer forecasted US ecommerce sales of
apparel and accessories would reach $84.58 billion in 2017, accounting for
18.7% of total US retail ecommerce. In 2016, ecommerce apparel and
reached $74,03 billion, showing an increased in over 13% in a year.
The 6 fastest growing online retailers in 2016 were ecommerce based only, (according
to an IR report)
In 2017, ecommerce drove many brands to rethink how they operate in their
entirety. With big retailers are investing in SEO, in buying companies with an
expertise in ecommerce.
retailers continue to invest in a major balancing act – between brick and
mortar and ecommerce and will try to implement the latest buzz word – “omni-channel”. The focus – delighting
and drawing consumers into the brands story, providing them with exceptional (and
unifying) buying experiences..both in stores and online. Nordstrom took the
plunge to become a model of omnichannel customer
sales and experience, launching a inventory-less store that provides unique
experiences and services for customers.
The Amazon stronghold
– if you can’t beat them, join them.
Amazon was expected to become the no. 1 retailer of apparel and accessories in the US
(Cowen & Co.) in 2017 by surpassing Macy’s. Amazon spent 2017 diversifying
its offerings in the apparel – for
example, Prime Wardrobe, which lets you try items before you even buy them, they
launched their own athleisure brand and released a camera style assistant
called Echo Look. Amazon, are operating in all directions – while
some brands held that selling on Amazon might cheapen their brand image, it is
clear that Amazon is working around this, having convinced brands to the likes
of Nike, Under Armor to be sold on Amazon. Amazon is just too big to be ignored
as they move ahead and set a standard of primeable products, setting consumer
expectations that goods can be received in a day.
have never been more spoiled for choice, putting pressure on retailers to be
competitive, demanding convenience and value from the palms of their hands
(literally). Retailers need to seek ways to differentiate themselves and those
that don’t keep up might unwittingly donate their market share. It’ll be
interesting to watch development in the industry’s technologies that can
support these consumer demands.
more about Kornit’s textile printing technlogies at