This year's retail tribulations have been enough to create a New York Times bestseller, whether you're talking about store shutterings, bankruptcies, declining foot traffic, or low sales.
Another retailer who recently closed up shop after a 20 year run is Colette. While they had a physical footprint of only one store in Paris, the store's high-low curation drew visitors from near and far. Founder Colette Rossaux handed us firm breakup terms, announcing that it's "time to turn the page." It hurts, but we can appreciate a graceful exit.
But we know that things are far from over for brick-and-mortar - it's just evolving. Check out our year-end report which explores the themes that dominated retail this year including: Amazon's domination, our unhealthy relationship with discounting, and the growing strength of the luxury marketplace.
LONG-TERM FINANCING IS THE NEW BLACK
"Please choose your method of payment." The dreaded question faced after over-filling digital carts with holiday deals. Usually met with a form of debit or credit, consumers (millennials especially), are now opting for long-term financing at checkout.
The preferred term length falls at 12 months, accounting for 87% of this year's Black Friday shoppers who opted to utilize these types of payment methods. Options are available through platforms like PayPal and Affirm, where payment preferences can reach up to 24 months or more.
The extended plans can potentially lead consumers to make more frequent or higher-ticket purchases and leave behind the credit card heirachy. Who wants to deal with high APRs, anyways?
UNETHICAL PRACTICES IMPACT ZARA
Unsuitable labor practices remain a controversial subject, backed by consumers who are increasingly demanding accountability from retailers.
The most recent culprit, Zara, has seen a 35% weekly increase in the negative commentary surrounding its brand after cries for help were found sewn into some items of their clothing. The notes claimed, “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it,” and needless to say, they didn't bode well with the public.
Since the November incident, the company has yet to pay its outsourced workers 2.7 million Turkish Iira, (the equivalent to 0.01% of 2017 first quarter earnings from Inditex, Zara's parent company).
THE GOP TAX BILL BENEFITS
On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump passed the tax bill overhaul, prompting much speculation with regards to its impact on the economy. Of many things, the bill will drop corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%, and cut middle-income consumer's taxes.
What does this mean? For retailers, it is a potential surge in middle class spending and economic growth for their companies. Major retailers should see sizeable cuts in their tax rates as well.
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT
Sam Edelman has continuously produced timeless footwear with its synergy of comfort and style. Now, the company is launching a denim line to join its ten existing product categories.
“There are two things that are critical to a successful denim collection—the perfect fit and being on trend. Those are both things the Sam Edelman brand is known for and will be the foundation for the denim launch as well,” said Suzy Biszantz, president and CEO of GBG Denim West.
Check out the classic cuts here.