More than a dozen American retailers will close the doors on hundreds of locations in the next 2-3 years.
Shifts like this happen. And because of technology, they happen faster than ever before.
We’ve covered online retail changes in-depth up to this point. So, let’s take a look at some other changes leading retailers have decided to embark upon to strengthen their market positions:
1. Abercrombie & Fitch
They’ve long had a focus on a highly sexualized brand that appeals to the “cool” kids in school. However, perhaps the market has grown too accustomed to this positioning. Going forward, the company has decided to focus on customer engagement, rather than image. So, they’re testing out a store in Columbus that allows customers to adjust the lighting in fitting rooms to see how they would look at the beach or in a club. The store also has more than 40 mannequins showing off clothing styles to help customers make decisions.
2. JC Penney Aims Its Sights at Sears and Home Depot
JC Penney successfully tested expanding its stores to include home appliance showrooms. It’s also going to begin offering home services like bathroom remodeling and blind installation. Everyone thinks of JC Penney as a fashion retailer. But since they successfully tested this out at a few stores already, they’re going to roll these changes out to hundreds more. Will this change rejuvenate their sales? Only one way to find out!
3. Lowe’s Will Use the “LoweBot”
Lowe’s actually hasn’t been hurting for sales one bit. They’ve grown nicely over the past several years. However, they definitely have no fear of risk-taking innovation. They’ve made the “LoweBot,” an in-store robot designed to help customers. But, it’s not just a gimmick designed to attract attention. Instead, it’s intended to take care of low-level tasks, like helping customers find items. Employees would then have their time freed up to help customers make more complex decisions, like coordinating a new item with their home’s design.
4. Macy’s Will Include More In-Store Shops
Macy’s has now strategically positioned itself to include more in-store shops. These include the practical LensCrafters, Backstage, which is Macy’s own discount store, and Blue Mercury, a beauty chain it purchased.
Other retailers, like Costco, use this model successfully to grow their own revenues. We’ll see how it plays out for Macy’s.
Innovating to win more market share is a necessity. And whether you find yourself in a rough position, or a strong one, it makes sense. Amazon had many great internal failures, and at one point lost 95% of its market capitalization. But, if you maintain a rigid commitment to innovation, you’ll find your path to success just like they did.