It is probably no secret that the retail industry is going through some difficulties right now. Retailers like Macy’s and J.C. Penny that have long been the anchors of malls across the country are closing their stores and laying off their staff. Some malls are struggling to stay open and at least a few of them have become eerie abandoned structures that stand as monuments to what were more prosperous times.
Whereas Macy’s was the household name that helped to define the shopping experience for many people in America in the 20th century it looks as though Amazon will become the retailer that defines the shopping experience in the 21st century. These days it seems as though malls are too much of a hassle for shoppers. They want the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their living room and want to be able to research, comparison shop and find the best deal they can and Amazon allows them to do this.
Amazon is not the only digitally native retailer that is giving traditional stores a run for their money. Newcomers like the online clothing brand Everlane are also experiencing growth as traditional stores struggle in this new environment. The San Francisco company is known for ethical, stylish basics that seem to represent aesthetically to a new generation what Gap represented to another generation nearly 20 years ago. According to Racked.com, Everlane, like Amazon before it, will be opening a brick-and-mortar location. The move places it among a group of ecommerce companies Fabletics and Amazon that have made the transition from being digital-only brands to being brick-and-mortar stores. While the question begs as to whether or not new retailers like Everlane will face the difficulties that their traditional counterparts are struggling with the possibility exists that these new brands have learned to do what old one’s don’t do: harmonize the best of the digital and in-person shopping experience.