What’s Old is New Again: Why High Fashion Brands Are Turning to Brick and Mortar

Brands are increasingly turning to opening brick and mortar store according to a recent article in the New York Times. For these brands opening brick and mortar stores is a high growth proposition. As the article highlights, British designer Lee Broom experienced near 50% growth in US sales through opening a direct-to-consumer physical presence in SOHO this past spring.

Customers are embracing branded store experiences because of the direct relationship that customers build with brands in store. By fostering this connection, brands are tapping into increased customer value by offering unique and innovative brand experiences.

For brands it also gives greater control of the brand equity. Recently brands have faced challenges with their wholesale operations that have caused them to pull back from whole sale agreement. Coach recently scaled back its department store inventories, as the wide availability ultimately was responsible for diluting the brand’s exclusivity and shrinking margins. Even Amazon has faced challenges maintaining equity for brands, recently butting heads with Birkenstock over counterfeiting issues on the Amazon Marketplace which ultimately drove Birkenstock to withdrawal products officially from Amazon.

Vertically integrated brands like Bonobos and Warby Parker have also had immense success in bringing their successful online business into the brick and mortar world. According to their CEOs (via Wall Street Journal) they’re only getting started, with plans to rapidly expand their brick and mortar presence.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the experience and essential elements that are unique to the physical store and result in better customer relationships. Some brands have honed in on this value and have given customers the motivation to hop off their couches and hit the boulevard.



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Originally Published on LinkedIn


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