There’s no question that we’re undergoing a ‘Retail Apocalypse’. Some of the most recognized brands like Macy’s, Abercombie & Fitch, and Sears are rapidly demising. Store closures, layoffs, and bankruptcies have dominated the headlines. However, the future of brick-and-mortars isn’t coming to extinction just yet, as these retailers prove that physicality still plays a role.
Having recently doubled their number of stores, the Japanese company offers a unique approach to fashion that has helped differentiate it from the pack. With ambitious goals to generate $50 billion in revenue per year and overtake Zara and H&M as the world’s number one apparel brand, a major component to this strategy is through the expansion in North America. Currently there are 40 stores in the U.S. and a plan to open 100 more in the next few years. Vancouver will receive its first location, a 20,630-square-foot space at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, this fall.
Zara and H&M
As pioneers of fast fashion, Zara and H&M have built their success on quickly churning out runway looks at an affordable price. By selling their own brands and constantly replenishing new styles, they’ve been able to reach global expansion. Earlier this year, Spanish retailer Zara pulled further ahead of its Swedish rival H&M thanks to its expansion online and a larger market presence.
Next on Zara’s sights is Asia and India, two of their fastest growing markets. They’ve also announced they will be slowing down the number of stores they’ll be opening and instead focus their efforts to ecommerce over the next year.
Frank and Oak
This Toronto retailer has taken an atypical approach to the current market trends. What originated as an ecommerce store has become 10 brick-and-mortars across North America over the past 5 years. Two if its Toronto outlets are in malls while others are on trendy neighbourhoods, even blending its store with a coffee shop. It also creates pop-up locations, offering a more diverse reach to new audiences.
Clearly consumers value a good deal, as the dollar store chain’s sales were up 11.5% and net earnings per share up 24% in the fourth quarter, according to their press release. Today there are approximately 1,100 locations today, with plans to increase this to 1,700 in the next eight to 10 years.
Do you think these retailers will continue to grow, or do you see challenges ahead? We’d love to hear your predictions! Tweet us to give us your take.