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Year in Review: The Many Sides of Retail in 2015

Retail has become an increasingly difficult landscape to navigate. In 2015, the denim market saw new companies like Mott & Bow and Stock Manufacturing Co. adopt direct-to-consumer distribution channels. Meanwhile, more traditional brick-and-mortar retailers chased after omnichannel trends.

Here’s a look back at how retailers blended tried-and-true selling techniques (customer service) with the modern advantages of technology.

Millard “Mickey” Drexler on Taking Risks and Adapting to Change

Rather than doing market research, Drexler stops into a store three or four times a week to have a quick conversation with the staff and customers. These off-the-cuff responses, together with online comments and emails, are enough for him to make changes. “If you sit in an ivory tower, you’ll learn what ivory tower people learn, which is not a lot.” Read more…

Retail Realities: Frankie in New York City

When Gaelle Drevet and Magda Pietrobelli opened Pixie Market in New York City’s Lower East Side in 2006, the duo never imagined their pint-size boutique would outgrow its brick-and-mortar roots to become an e-commerce superstar. Read more…

Bonobos CMO Brad Andrews on Taking E-Commerce Offline

How does a company based in e-commerce build an offline strategy? Bonobos’ solution is Guideshops, which Brad Andrews, chief merchandising officer at Bonobos, presented on at Intersect Retail in New York City.

Andrews explained that Bonobos had strategized for a completely online presence, but when they opened an office, people came wanting to try on clothing. “People still have that need to touch and feel the product. They want to experience it, they want to see it,” he said. Read more…

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Independent Retailers and Designers on Carving Their Own Path

With all the emphasis the fashion industry places on market research and social media, there are still a number of small retail stores that maintain a very simple formula for success: just sell those things you love. Read more…

Denim for Millennials: Inside Macy’s One Below

Macy’s latest effort to win over millennial shoppers has taken form in a newly-renovated basement level at its Herald Square flagship, called One Below. The space fuses sportswear geared toward the younger spectrum of the generation with millennial-centric accouterments like iPhone cases, skate-inspired sneakers, 3-D printed accessories and wearable gadgets. Read more…

Retail Realities: Toronto’s Over the Rainbow

Toronto’s indie denim emporium, Over the Rainbow (OTR) has been the go-to for premium denim for 40 years and owner Joel Carman swears it’s been done only through hard work and family values.

Keeping his team small, Carman runs the business with his son, Daniel, and his daughter, Amy. Between the three of them and their in-house team, the OTR office feels warm and welcoming to all that pass through its door. It’s this ability to form an instant sense of familial loyalty that has kept the business running since 1976 when Carman opened the doors for the first time with only $2000 to the business’ name. Read more…

Made-To-Measure: The Changing Face of London’s Savile Row

No longer reserved for royalty and the social elite, the bespoke suit is experiencing a resurgence in popularity in Britain. As London’s Savile Row tweaks traditional methods—lowering suit prices and the time it takes to produce—more men are going made-to-measure. Read more…

Retail Realities: AB Fits in San Francisco

For premium denim purveyor AB Fits, there’s something reverential about being located on the oldest street of the city that gave birth to Levi’s—and owner Howard Gee knows it. When the San Francisco native set up shop in 1990, he was determined to bring better denim back to the Bay Area and help every consumer find the perfect fit. “Ours is a no muss, no fuss, approach to retail,” said Jenny Houser, who has worked on a number of projects with AB Fits, including the launch of the store’s e-commerce site. “If something doesn’t look good on a customer, we don’t want them walking out with it.” Read more…

Chicago-Made Stock Manufacturing Co. Cuts Out the Middleman

Stock Manufacturing Co. was born out of the combined fashion and retail backgrounds of Jim Snediker and Jason Morgan (who together started the now-defunct flash-sale site Left of Trend), Mike Morarity and Tim Tierney (of menswear label Vagrant Nobility) and Areill Ives. The quintet’s threads may be made locally in Ives’ family’s 40-plus-year-old factory, but by cutting out the middleman and selling on a mostly direct-to-consumer basis, the brand can keep its prices in the $35-$295 range. Read more…