It’s been another busy month in the world of retail as many blue-chip brands reported earnings and many retailers made their way to ShopTalk in Vegas. We saw headlines about stores shutting physical locations including JCPenney, Victoria’s Secret, Payless, and Gymboree to name a few. But not all was doom and gloom. Gap announced it would spin off Old Navy into a separate company and that it would acquire children’s retailer Janie and Jack. And Allbirds announced it was expanding to China, opening its first physical stores in the country.
New York Fashion Week, which is the kickoff to a month of global fashion shows, saw incredible fashion labels take
to the runway to promote their new collections and brands. Eager fashion lovers, high-end buyers and the global media watched carefully to see the epic creativity and latest trends, and look ahead at what next season and the one after holds.
Twenty-nineteen started off with a bang in the retail world as brands dug out from the holiday craze to refocus on the year’s new goals and initiatives. The NRF Big Show dominated the headlines as did reports of a successful holiday season, with Mastercard SpendingPulse reporting U.S. retail sales up 5.1 percent, the strongest performance in six years. Here’s a look at some of the stories that caught our eye in January.
It’s called the Big Show for good reason - 38,000 attendees, 700 exhibitors and more than 200 content sessions. This year’s NRF annual conference brought together retailers, celebrities, tech players and startups and KWI was proud to be part of the conference, going on more than 20 years. Our booth was buzzing all day as we had the opportunity to demo our technology and preview what’s ahead. (We also got a lot of compliments on our branded chocolate bars from our client Dylan’s Candy Bar!).
Experiential retail is hot right now and it's not just fashion and beauty brands leading the way. A plethora of companies are announcing pop-up stores to capitalize on a full-sensory experience. There are the tech companies (Facebook at Macy's, Google pop-up), the lifestyle brands like Goop, e-commerce companies like Casper, even communities like HeyMama are getting in the retail game.
Enhancements designed to help retailers provide exceptional experiences to their customers
There’s no question that retail had a big year. We’ve seen exciting new brands come to market, while blue chip legacy retailers closed their doors. There’s been new innovation in the way we shop, search and pay, and technology has pushed the envelope in terms of new experiences, customization and overall customer service. Here’s a look back at the biggest winners in retail in 2018 that will likely continue to prove successful in the year ahead.
As the year comes to an end, retailers will take a look back and reflect on wins, losses, and surprises. Then, they’ll turn to the new year: How can they use those learnings to inform a strategy that focuses on where the marketplace is going? Here are our predictions for what will be huge in retail for 2019.