Fashion Retail in a Digital World

With consumers doing more online shopping, traditional retailers struggle to attract customers and continue to close stores. There is decreasing foot traffic because of how accessible and convenient online shopping is through smart technologies.

Due to speed-changing preferences, traditional stores struggle to have an online and physical presence with consumers. Even though only online stores are opening physical stores. There must be a suitable strategy between digital and online channels for traditional retailers to survive.

The success of online-only retailers opening up physical stores is because they go into partnerships with already existing brick-and-mortar stores. For example, Amazon has a deal with Kohl’s that allows Amazon shoppers to pick up and return products at any Kohl’s location in the country, according to npr.org. Although Americans still spend one out of ten dollars in physical stores, decreasing foot traffic and the speed of changing preferences are making it difficult for brick-and-mortar stores to compete with the instant gratification of online shopping. According to an article from Forbes.com, a study from the Journal of Consumer Psychology, one participant said, “I personally love to shop in stores. Every chance I get, I like to walk the floors of retail stores to get inspiration and experience new trends… there is nothing quite like the buzz of a compelling store experience fueled by exciting new must-have styles.” Consumers appreciate the experience of physical in-store shopping; we have to develop different ideas on how to keep bringing in customers.

It seems only fast fashion retail stores are doing well and are still around. For example, Zara and H&M. Stores such as Macy’s have shut down multiple locations. Lord & Taylor went out of business, and there are barely any JC Penney’s in NYC. Consumers want a sustainable future, but fast-fashion merchandisers are the ones that seem to be doing well. Fashion Nova is an excellent example of having an influence and transitioning from online to physical stores. The question is, how?

Research and article by: Amara G. 2021 LIM College graduate in Business Administrations/Fashion Merchandising.

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