Don’t rule out the need for physical stores even as more retailers increase their online presence.
That’s the conclusion of Moody’s Investors Service, which said it expects online sales of apparel and footwear, as a percent of total retail sales, to rise to about 16 percent by 2016. Online retail sales in general are expected to grow 14 percent annually over the next two years.
The ratings agency, which concluded that the online presence for U.S. companies has further to grow, also determined that e-commerce sales are a longer-term credit-positive for U.S. retail.
Moody’s reasoned that a viable online channel is becoming more critical for brick-and-mortar retailers, and that it is also a cost-effective way of maximizing existing physical locations, as well as to leverage distribution capability.
That means mass store closings are unlikely as retailers will need physical store locations so shoppers can see the products they have researched online. Store networks, Moody’s said, will remain a “crucial link in the online logistics chain.”
Store networks enable ship-from-store capability, as well as allow shoppers to buy online and pick up at a nearby store. Moody’s said additionally that as the sector moves to even faster delivery times, a store network has the potential to provide same-day delivery as an option.
Separate from the Moody’s report, this is a shift that many consumers have already seen in recent years as retailers from Neiman Marcus to Sears have tried to up their customer service levels to remain competitive and maintain market share.
Scott Tuhy, vice president and senior credit officer at the corporate finance group at Moody’s, said that apparel retailers that have a brick-and-mortar network have a competitive advantage over others. “Consumers can touch and feel the product, as well as try it on,” he said, adding too that anyone ordering online can do returns at the store. Conversely, Tuhy said that someone who tries on an item and buys in the store can go and “buy more online.”
And while one might think an older demographic is more likely to prefer brick-and-mortar, Tuhy said even the Millennial consumer, who is more adept with mobile, often prefers a physical store. “Think of fast-fashion retailers. They like to go to the store to find the latest offering,” Tuhy said.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
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Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)