So my husband is a business consultant and he’s always reading “businessy” newspapers and magazines. Every time he reads about retail, he tells me that businesses like mine - small online retailers – are part of the new future of retail and I kept blowing him off...chalking it to "he is just being supportive". Then I started looking into it:
- Did you know online/e-commerce retailing is growing 8x faster (16%) than in-store retailing (2%)? This widening gap is increasing at a rapid pace.
- Did you know there have been a record number of store closings in 2017 so far (and we are not yet through the first half of the year)? Some of the unusual suspects include: rue21, Michael Kors, The Limited, BeBe, Wet Seal, Crocs, JC Penny, BCBG, American Apparel, K-Mart, Macy's, Abercrombie + Fitch, Guess, Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Dress Barn and Justice
- Did you know over 300 retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection so far in 2017? That is a 31% increase from 2016. Most of the retailers in the list above have filed for Bankruptcy or closed their stores to focus solely on online retail.
- Did you know companies like Amazon and Walmart are spending millions of dollars acquiring small online stores to "beef" up their online e-commerce businesses?
There are so many other fun facts but decided to just highlight a few. So why is all this going on? Again, there are many factors, but three that are the most relevant to us at ICON’s CLOSET are:
- Technology – These days anyone (e.g. ICON’s CLOSET) and I mean anyone can start an online store and sell almost anything online. Companies like Shopify and Squarespace have built entire businesses on this fact alone.
- Fast Fashion – Fashion today is fast. Trends come and go at a rapid pace. As a result, retailers that are nimble have found success (e.g., Zara and H&M). Again, small e-commerce/social media driven retailers (e.g. ICON's CLOSET) that are nimble enough are able to move fast to capture customers’ taste at an affordable price will win in the long-run
- Social Media – According to PwC, a consultancy, 78% of consumers said social media influenced their purchases and 10% of all US buyers currently buy directly from social media. 100% of my sales are driven by social media and fingers crossed, our sales will more than triple in 2017 compared to 2016.
So who are we? And are we really the future of fashion retail?
- Who are we? ICON's Closet is a U.S. based online boutique for the modern woman looking to define her own individual style without compromising on elegance or quality at an affordable price. Unlike traditional stores or online fashion retailers, we focus on only a limited number of styles for a limited period of time and most of our pieces are as a result of input from our ICONS (our customers). Our pieces are carefully curated to suit the lifestyle of an ICON - Elegant. Unique. Memorable. In essence, our goal is simply to be the personal shopper to ICONS with an unwavering focus on customer service, quality, and affordability.
- Are we the future? Time will tell but for now, we are just grateful for the small role we play in bringing fast, fashionable and affordable styles to our ICONs via social media, influencers and our humble online store (www.iconscloset.com).
Come by and see us. A big shout out to all my fellow fashion and retail entrepreneurs playing a role in this
Chief ICONIC Officer