The Vue On Sundays – December 16 2018

Welcome to another edition of The Vue On Sundays, a bi-monthly feature of all the news that’s shaking up retail. Think of The Vue On Sundays as us catching up with the retail industry over coffee and cookies. Everything we discuss will be from the perspective of small-medium businesses and as always, we are open to feedback so please leave a comment or get in touch if you have anything to say! Without any further ado, here’s what we’re talking about this week – 

A Look Inside Macy’s Brand New Retail Strategy

Macy’s has really been invested into changing up its retail strategy for the new age shopper – literally. After acquiring New York-based pop-up concept store Story and investing (and partnering!) with b8ta, a retail firm that uses data to rethink and redesign the store experience, Macy’s has also begun experimenting with a ‘shop-in-shop’ concept with a Samsung Mini-Store and ‘The Market at Macy’s’. The latter is a pop-up with an eclectic selection of products that are constantly changing and cause-based. Think veggie spiralizers being sold alongside makeup and Ferrari simulators. The plan for the shop-in-shops and the market is to rotate through 150 of their e-commerce brands. “The partnership with b8ta — and the creation of The Market @ Macy’s — feel like an acknowledgement that the traditional department store model is under fire”, writes Cara Salpini for The Retail Drive. Read to know more about Macy’s Retail Strategy and all that they’ve learned trying to take on the new age customer. 

The Market At Macy’s. Photo: Retail Dive

What It Means To Dress in Lagos

This deep dive into the style and fashion choices of stylish young Nigerian men and women is utterly fascinating – simply because it shows us how different, diverse and beautiful our world can be. The people of Nigeria have an extraordinary sense of personal style that is unlike the rest of the world’s because it has been shaped by the politics and culture of Africa. The emergence and success of local African designers and brands is proof that global fashion retailers can no longer function with a one-size-fits-all strategy. Every market is different and they’re more aware of it than ever. Read about What It Means To Dress in Lagos on New York Times, here. 

“In a country where nothing works, I like to make sure my outfit does,” Deto Black
Photo: The New York Times

Did A Slave Make Your Sneakers? Probably

Labour and all the issues associated with it is a topic that has now become inseparable from fast fashion. Consumers have paid so much scrutiny to the labour practices of fast fashion giants that they have been forced into transforming their practices and becoming more transparent with the methods employed to make their goods and the wages that they pay. According to KnowTheChain, a non-profit that works to address the risks of forced labour within global supply chains across industries, an estimated 24.9 million people are victims of forced labour and one of the largest sectors that relies on forced labour is the $3 trillion apparel and footwear industry. KnowTheChain has also ranked these companies based on their labour policies and – wait for it – luxury fashion houses sit right at the bottom because of the complete lack of transparency with respect to how they treat their labour. If kindness isn’t part of your brand’s values – what is the point, really? Irrespective of whether you’re in business or you’re a consumer, this report from FastCompany is a must-read. 

 Inside a sweatshop in Dharavi Slum in Mumbai workers produce Jeans for the western market. Photo: The Observer

The Smartphone is the future of The Retail Experience

Once touted to be retail’s biggest enemy, the smartphone has now become an essential element of experiential retail aka retail of the future. As customers increasingly use their phones to purchase (or even contemplate a purchase) – 33 percent of online Black Friday sales were made on smartphones compared with 29.1 percent on Black Friday last year – more and more brands are implementing smart phone elements into their brick and mortar stores. Nike’s newest ‘high tech’ store in NYC, for example, had smartphone features like QR code powered changing rooms (where the customer could send items to the trial rooms by scanning a QR code) and instant smartphone checkout for registered customers who had saved their credit card info. However, there are still some kinks in the system – read this article from The New York Times to know what they are. 

Nike’s new store. Photo: Business Insider

And that’s it from us this week! What have you been reading? 

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