Behind 5 of Last Week's Consumer Headlines

Retail Fundamentals Still Key Amid Digital Talk

·      Whenever I talk about the bifurcation of retail, this exactly what I mean, summed up by Pirch’s CMO: “If [customers] want transactional, they go to Amazon. If they don’t want transactional, they go into the store and that’s what we have to continue to do is be that experiential, smart brand that also embraces the community.”

·      I was surprised (and mostly delighted) to read SoulCycle follows up with clients via phone rather than e-mail

·      Most of all, this article drives home the point that if we measure store experience initiatives by their attributable ROI, we won’t invest enough                       

In-Store Fulfillment is No Defense Against Amazon

·      The article focuses on the cost and logistics of BOPIS, but I think about BOPIS less about playing operational defense and more about using multichannel capabilities (stores + e-commerce) to play offense on the sales front

·      As a customer, it’s easy to bemoan the retailers that “still” don’t offer BOPIS; as a retailer, I’ve had to deal with the tech and operations implications and I can vouch for their difficulty

·      It’s not until the end of the article that the author moves away from the true costs of BOPIS and suggests BOPIS will save retailers from losing customers to the Amazons of the world – but, to me, BOPIS is more, about increasing online conversion and driving qualified store visits

Under Armour Takes Former FAO Schwarz Store on Fifth Avenue

·      This is a fantastic location to capture both locals and tourists given the uber-productive Apple store on the same site, Bergdorf Goodman across the street, and athletic brethren such as Nike and the NBA Flagship just blocks south

·      Caution: If this store isn’t a true experience, it will fall flat relative to its neighbors

·      On the heels of its new-ish Soho store (which doesn’t wow me), I’m happy to see UA continuing to invest in a prominent retail presence

Laura Mulleavy on Rodarte’s Brand-New E-Commerce Site

·      Unlike many brands that make their every digital move – even if late – sound earth-shattering, the Rodarte e-commerce launch as been little-reported

·      In this interview, Mulleavy’s tone reflects a sense of quiet and experimentation that’s consistent with the lack of launch marketing

·      The site is consistently subtle, too, and nods to Rodarte’s history without flashiness or an unnecessary investment in technology bells and whistles or editorial content

Michael Kors’ #InstaKors Returns As Part of See-now, Buy-now Strategy

·      Despite the headlines hailing Michael Kors’ investment in “social commerce”, the brand is primarily bringing back what they’ve done before, and what so many retailers now do, on Instagram

·      What’s different is what’s available, as some new items will be available via Instagram before they hit stores – but we’re still talking about the item being available the start of a season, not many months earlier when it was shown to the press

·      I like that Kors’ Instagram landing page will offer promos and products not available elsewhere, which is an incentive for fans to engage with the brand socially