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jerryking : inventory-free   4

Nordstrom Tries On a New Look: Stores Without Merchandise - WSJ
By Suzanne Kapner
Sept. 10, 2017

Nordstrom Local, doesn't stock clothes.....it's a new concept as retailers across the U.S. are wrestling with how to best to use their physical spaces and attract customers who are migrating to the web. For department-store chains like Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co. , Kohl’s Corp. and Sears Holdings Corp. , one answer has been to shrink their footprint by closing stores or experimenting with smaller ones......consumer habits are changing.....“There aren’t store customers or online customers—there are just customers who are more empowered than ever to shop on their terms,”...Nordstrom Local, scheduled to open Oct. 3 in West Hollywood, Calif., will span 3,000 square feet, far less than the 140,000 square feet of one of Nordstrom’s standard department stores. It will contain eight dressing rooms, where shoppers can try on clothes and accessories, though the store won’t stock them. Instead, personal stylists will retrieve goods from nine Nordstrom locations in Los Angeles, or through its website. The stylists can also pull together looks for shoppers through a “style board” app.

“Shopping today may not always mean going to a store and looking at a vast amount of inventory,” said Shea Jensen, Nordstrom’s senior vice president of customer experience. “It can mean trusting an expert to pick out a selection of items.”..In addition to manicures, Nordstrom Local shoppers will be able to order wine, beer, coffee or juice from an in-store bar, and those who place orders on Nordstrom.com by 2 p.m. can pick them up there that day. They will also be able to return items at the store that they bought online or from other Nordstrom locations. Tailors will be available for alterations or to help members of Trunk Club, an online clothing service that Nordstrom acquired in 2014, select fabrics for custom garments.

Other retailers have experimented with inventory-free stores, including Bonobos, the men’s fashion brand bought by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over the summer. Stores such as Pirch, a purveyor of high-end home appliances and decorative plumbing, have taken the experiential route, inviting shoppers to bring bathing suits to test their $1,000 showerheads....the traditional retail store hasn’t changed much over the years. One hindrance, according to Doug Stephens, founder of the consulting firm Retail Prophet, is that Wall Street measures success by sales per square foot and other metrics that are becoming outdated in a world where shoppers still visit stores but increasingly make their purchases online.
Nordstrom  Nordstrom_Local  Macy  personal_stylists  BOPIS  Doug_Stephens  retailers  sales_per_square_foot  physical_space  experiential_marketing  small_spaces  curation  department_stores  inventory-free  e-commerce  store_footprints  downsizing  Bonobos  metrics  in-store 
september 2017 by jerryking
As Retailers Race to Close Stores, a Web Startup Is Opening Them - WSJ
By Khadeeja Safdar
April 30, 2017

Online brands are treading more carefully into physical retail. Several brands, such as Everlane, Casper and Warby Parker, have opened temporary stores to test out foot traffic and experiment with new concepts. ....One challenge for online brands is to ensure that new locations increase sales, rather than cannibalize existing business.

“We have to see the interplay between our online and offline channels,” said Ms. Ulman. “A customer who shops online and offline is supposed to be very valuable, but we want to understand just how much more valuable.”....Online apparel brands are finding that they don’t need much to set up a store. The evolution of point-of-sales technology means that transactions can now be made on phones and tablets. Some newer retailers don’t even keep much inventory. Bonobos, which started out selling men’s clothing online, lets customers try on items at its more than two dozen “guideshops” and mails purchases to their doorsteps.

Greats sells eight core styles of shoes in different colors and materials, making its business more mobile than that of a traditional retailer. At its new locations, the company plans to bring its own interior elements such as shelving, greenery and lighting.

“You can do a lot within four walls,” said Ms. Ulman. “All we really need is some Wi-Fi.”
clicks-to-bricks  sneakers  pop-ups  e-commerce  retailers  store_closings  shopping_malls  landlords  bricks-and-mortar  foot_traffic  omnichannel  short-term  leasing  inventory-free  cannibalization  Bonobos  Everlane  Casper  Warby_Parker  point-of-sale  brands  Wi-Fi  mens'_clothing  apparel  physical_retail 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy - The New York Times
Neil Irwin @Neil_Irwin JUNE 16, 2017

The decision by Amazon and Walmart to compete for my grocery business — as well as for space in my closet — is a tiny battle in a war to dominate a changing global economy.

And for companies that can’t compete on price and technology, it could cost them the shirt off their backs.....[Amazon's purchase of high-end grocery chain Whole Foods places it] on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy.

Each one is trying to become more like the other — Walmart by investing heavily in its technology, Amazon by opening physical bookstores and now buying physical supermarkets. But this is more than a battle between two business titans. Their rivalry sheds light on the shifting economics of nearly every major industry, replete with winner-take-all effects and huge advantages that accrue to the biggest and best-run organizations, to the detriment of upstarts and second-fiddle players.....in turn...this has more worrying implications for jobs, wages and inequality.

Amazon vs. Walmart

Both want to sell everything!!!!

Walmart is buying Bonobos, an omnichannel innovator. Its website and online customer service are excellent, and it operates stores in major cities where you can try on garments and order items to be shipped directly. Because all the actual inventory is centralized, the stores themselves can occupy minimal square footage. The acquisition helps Walmart build expertise in the very areas where it is trying to gain on Amazon.

Walmart and Amazon have had their sights on each other for years, each aiming to be the dominant seller of goods via omnichannel.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods helps it to understand the grocery business which has a whole different set of challenges from the types of goods that Amazon has specialized in heretofore.

A Positive Returns-to-Scale World
The apparel business has long been a highly competitive industry in which countless players could find a niche.....any shirt-maker that tried to get too big rapidly faced diminishing returns.It would have to pay more and more to lease the real estate for far-flung stores, and would have to outbid competitors to hire all the experienced shirt-makers. The expansion wouldn’t offer any meaningful cost savings and would entail a lot more headaches trying to manage it all....in the digital economy, rather than reflecting those diminishing returns to scale, show positive returns to scale: The biggest companies have a huge advantage over smaller players. That tends to tilt markets toward a handful of players or even a monopoly....The apparel industry...is moving in the direction of being like the software business (high fixed costs, zero variable costs, enormous returns to scale)..... the reason why Walmart and Amazon are so eager get into the shirt business is because retailers know that they need to figure out how to manage sophisticated supply chains connecting Southeast Asia with stores in big American cities so that they rarely run out of product. They need mobile apps and websites that offer a seamless user experience so that nothing stands between a would-be purchaser and an order....Larger companies that are good at supply chain management and technology can spread those more-or-less fixed costs around more total sales, enabling them to keep prices lower than a niche player and entrench their advantage....large companies will invest in automation/robotics...the future of clothing/apparel might be a handful of companies with the very expensive shirt-making robots---and everyone else shut out in the cold.

What It Means for the Economy

A relative few winners are taking a disproportionate share of business in a wide range of industries....in turn may help explain why the income gap has widened in recent years. How much on income inequality is driven by shifting technology — as opposed to changing corporate behavior, or loose antitrust policy — is an open debate.
increasing_returns_to_scale  winner-take-all  fixed_costs  variable_costs  Amazon  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods  retailers  economics  Bonobos  shirts  mens'_clothing  omnichannel  apparel  digital_economy  automation  robotics  competitive_landscape  market_concentration  barbell_effect  income_inequality  antitrust  market_power  corporate_concentration  grocery  fresh_produce  supermarkets  large_companies  UX  inventory-free  global_economy 
june 2017 by jerryking
Bonobos: Very Fit to Lead -Thinking Big
May 18, 2010 | TIME | By Carlye Adler. "Bonobos is now
launching a plan to bring "mobile fit pods", or portable, collapsible,
dressing rooms to airports, train stations, corporations, college
tailgates, beach parties, and farmer's markets — wherever the potential
customers are — to get guys measured by its experts (so-called style
ninjas), who will then direct them to the website. Bonobos's web site
and pop up fitting rooms have entirely eradicated the brand's need for
leases, sales staff, and distribution. "The concept has such validity in
today's world," says Maxine Martens, the CEO of fashion industry search
firm Martens & Heads, and an investor in the company. In 2009, a
retail environment that saw shrinking sales, reduced traffic, store
closures, and bankruptcies, Bonobos tripled its business, earning $4.9
million in gross sales. And even though the pants aren't cheap,
($88-$195 a pair), Dunn says there's enough appeal to double business
this year. "
apparel  e-commerce  fashion  mens'_clothing  inspiration  reinvention  Bonobos  pop-ups  retailers  thinking_big  inventory-free  product_launches 
may 2010 by jerryking

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