There's a New Retail Sheriff in Town

As the days get colder, the nights get longer and our cravings for hot chocolate with Baileys and whipped cream heighten, so does our need to find a good book.  Thanks to a recent event hosted by Fashion Group International’s Toronto chapter, CanadaFashionLaw need look no further.

This week, CanadaFashionLaw eagerly attended a presentation by Robin Lewis, hosted by FGI-Toronto.  Robin Lewis, author of the book “The New Rules of Retail”, is a retail consultant and former vice-president and executive editor of Women’s Wear Daily.  In “The New Rules of Retail”, Robin looks at the transformation of retail and what it means to the fashion and consumer products industries. 

This book is a must-read if you are:
  • in the fashion industry,
  • involved in the consumer products chain,
  • are a marketing professional or
  • just want to be an informed consumer.

In his presentation, Lewis provides an oversight of his theories.  In a nutshell, the shift to consumer power, coupled with rampant globalization and significant technological developments have been retail game changers.  According to Lewis, there has been a 3-part evolution in retail.  At first, the producers called the shots.  Retail outlets were few and far between and mostly centered in urban areas.  With the shift to urbanization, the producer’s power diminished.  This period was marked by an increase in malls, specialized retail outlets and big box stores.  As media became an ever-increasing force, the onus shifted to retailers to create demand for products.  In the current stage, globalization and technological advances have taken the retail market to a whole new level.  Effective mass global manufacturing and distribution networks have created an unprecedented surge in supply, thanks to the proliferation of retail outlets or e-commerce websites.

We live in a globalized, mass marketed, consumer hungry society. 
We know that. 
But what does this mean for the business of retail?  

Consumer value has shifted, going beyond the desire of quality and fair pricing.  Consumers want experiences – they want to emotionally connect to their retailer.  Lewis even went so far as to discuss the consumer’s neurological connection being tied to their retail experience. Customization is key; conformity is out.  Democratization of trends is in; exclusivity is out. Community is utmost.  Sustainability is a way of business and no longer a marketing tool. Survival of the fittest is not sufficient.  Retailers must excel in every aspect.  

CanadaFashionLaw urges you to run as fast as your stiletto-clad, pedicured feet will go to pick up a copy of Robin Lewis’ “The New Rules of Retail”.