People (say they) will spend more on clothes that actually fit

It’s a sore point for many shoppers, who are ready and eager to spend more on designer clothes if only they were available: 78% of respondents in a recent survey of plus-size shoppers said that they’d be willing to spend more money if designers offered more options, and 80% said they’d likely purchase an item from their favorite designer if that designer made plus sizes.

File under “if anything, more money. Plus, bonus: morals!”:

More and more designers and retailers seem to be waking up to that fact. The market for plus-size women’s clothing is over $20 billion, by some measures

Link

Onshoring manufacturing, shoes edition

A nice scenario’ing of brining manufacturing back to the US, told through Under Armour. For example, with factory-automation and higher labor prices, you don’t end up hiring 1,000’s of people:

Plank has lamented that we’ve been making clothes the same way for 100 years, and he hopes to change that with the innovation happening at UA Lighthouse. But a huge innovation in the footwear industry, as in other industries, is automation. Adidas now has two Speedfactories, its automated robot-helmed sites. According to Fortune, these only require 160 employees, cutting out many of the humans formerly needed for this kind of factory work.

Plank is fully aware of this tradeoff. When asked about creating jobs in the US, Plank told Footwear News, “It’s not pegged to have 175,000 of those jobs come back to America. I just wonder if there is a way that we can be more thoughtful, creative, and innovative. What if we could bring 100 of those jobs or 500 or 1,000 or 10,000 here?”

Productivity!

There’s also a nice discussion about a border tax’s effect on retail.

The summary is: on shoring manufacturing will create jobs, but probably much less than “like back in the good old days” notions. Further, in the overall retail system, it’ll require much investment and change.

As ever, for an administration that wants to “shock the system,” it fits what’s on the tin. Get some rubber shoes.

Link

Retail: tech slow to enable omni-channel, Amazon is far ahead as a threat

…a survey of the top retailers in the US and Europe. About 75 percent of them said that despite all the unprecedented investments they’ve made in retail over the last several years, they feel ill-prepared to handle and provide omni-channel capabilities.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that you need so look at online as the starting point of most purchases: “60 percent or more of in-store purchases start online ‘through digital engagement.’”

Amazon is quick to enter new retail markets:

Amazon reports e-commerce growth of 30 percent, whereas core retail is growing at only 2 percent. Amazon Fashion launched in a “very nascent way” in 2002 – it’s now the biggest fashion player in the U.S. Amazon has spent about $17 billion dollars on R&D around e-commerce. Walmart has spent under a billion. If Walmart cannot spend the money necessary to stay with Amazon, how will other retailers keep pace?

All of this was from a SFDC retail-focused person, no details on the survey.

Source: Salesforce Commerce Cloud CEO at NRF – 75 percent of retailers are “ill-prepared” for the omni-channel

American Apparel sells for $103m, not including stores

I’m always amazed at how low IRL companies get valued. But: retail, manufactoring, and a history of funky management:

But fashion wasn’t the only thing to change; the retail business changed, too. The economic downturn was hard on the fashion industry as consumers cut back on spending. And brick-and-mortar stores have struggled as online retailers bite into their sales and target demographics. That can be especially harmful for brands like American Apparel, whose the business model is to open a bevy of stores and rely on foot traffic. “There are too many stores in too many places,” explained Cohen. “Everybody doing business in brick-and-mortar is migrating in some way, shape, or form to the internet. Everyone is seeing a chronic decline in the productivity of their real estate.”

It doesn’t include the stores:

All of this helps explain why the $88 million Gildan deal could be viewed as arguably the last great American Apparel marketing feat. Even with all its financial and legal woes, the company still attracted 12 bids. (Sources told Reuters that Amazon and Forever 21 were considering purchasing as well.) And while Gildan won’t be purchasing any of American Apparel’s 110 U.S. stores—which were also up for sale—the company was willing to pay nearly $90 million just for intellectual property and some equipment. That’s quite a feat given that the brand was built on the premise of selling such basic designs.

Still, that brand, tho.

Link

Amazon grocery store has no cash registers, uses phone

Customers scan the Amazon Go app on their smartphone as they enter the store. The company spent four years developing “just walk out” technology, which detects when items are picked up or returned to shelves and “keeps track of them in a virtual cart,” Amazon said. There’s no checkout line — just leave the store with your groceries, and Amazon will charge your account.

Link

Amazon Echo owners spend 10% more

The research company found that owners of the Echo spent around 10 percent more after they bought the voice-powered smart speaker than they did before.

The NPD Group’s Checkout Tracking purchase monitor provided the data, analyzing customer spending and overall number of receipts, and found that there was also a 6 percent bump in the overall number of purchases made by Echo owners on Amazon.com when compared to their pre-Echo existence.

Source: Amazon Echo owners spend more on Amazon, says NPD.

How Companies Like Dollar Shave Club Are Reshaping the Retail Landscape

“After two years in business, Casper is on track to book $200 million in sales over the next year, but its success isn’t ensured.”

Also, a new category phrase: “the digitally native vertical brand.”

Source: How Companies Like Dollar Shave Club Are Reshaping the Retail Landscape

Amazon Prime Day is biggest day for online retailer ever

The online retailer said worldwide orders rose more than 60 percent compared with the previous Prime Day.

Looks like things worked out well.

Some of the more popular “deals”

Source: Amazon Prime Day is biggest day for online retailer ever, sourced from my wife!

Square is designed to guilt us into tipping basically everyone

When Square asks you if you’d like to tip, declining can feel petty–especially under the expectant gaze of service workers.

While I always find tipping policy a weird mystery in other lands, I suppose we’re a bit confused over here too:

Square and other POS systems are drawing attention to the fact that our informal gratuity systems have never really made sense. Delivery drivers receive tips, but plumbers don’t. Manicurists, yes; dental hygienists, no. The bartender who opens your beer expects an extra dollar or so, but the baker who iced your cupcake doesn’t—or, at least, didn’t until recently.

Source: Square is designed to guilt us into tipping basically everyone