retail stories


I’m bringing you something a bit different today: 6 retail stories to read this week. They cover everything from local leases (more interesting than it sounds) to 24-hour retail (is it feasible?) and the subscription service phenomenon. Some are quick  reads and others will need more brain power, but hopefully there’s something for everyone. Enjoy!

1. Post pop-up, is the ‘flexi-lease’ one of the solutions to retail’s woes?

“While many retail strips are struggling with falling occupancy rates, High Street [in Armadale, Melbourne] is seemingly outperforming its neighbours, including Chapel Street, South Yarra and Glenferrie Road, Malvern.”

With all the conversation around SumoSalad’s recent fight with Westfield over rent, this story from Fairfax about the rise of the ‘flexi-lease’—which offers tenants more favourable terms than the traditional 5x5x5 retail lease, but more stability than a pop-up or short-term arrangement—is definitely an interesting one.

2. If Retail Is Dying, Why Is Money Pouring Into Malls?

“[At] a time when news headlines are full of store-closings, and the internet is methodically destroying any experience that involves parking lots, fitting rooms, or cash registers, why on Earth are we still building more retail space?” asks Patrick Clark in this piece from Bloomberg.

3. Why Is Steve Madden Surviving the Retail Apocalypse?

“The trendy, reliable footwear favorite launched in 1990 and enjoyed a particularly successful run throughout that decade and the next, in spite of its founder’s stint in jail. And as its contemporaries struggle with declining foot traffic, fast fashion, and the beast that is Amazon, the shoe brand is still riding high.”

Racked asks how footwear favourite Steve Madden manages to survive—and even prosper—when so many of its fashion peers are struggling.

4. Why retailers are going all in on subscription services

“Stitch Fix, Amazon Prime Wardrobe, Trunk Club, Rent the Runway and a growing list of subscription services streamline shopping for busy customers, but not every brand has the right formula,” writes Lara Ewen for Retail Dive.

This is a really interesting look at the phenomenon of subscription services, including the benefits (and drawbacks) for retailers and the brands that are nailing the concept.

5. I Just Bought a Shirt on Instagram — Is This the Future of Retail?

“There are so many great things to be discovered in so many different places that the value in committing to the centralized space that is a singular specialty retailer or department store doesn’t quite hold as much weight as it used to. But then again, it is extremely comforting to know that one specific place will be able to accommodate every consumerist itch that you have, right? This is why the one-stop shop came to exist and subsequently flourish in the first place.”

Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine dissects a recent Instagram shopping experience.

6. 24-hour retail: Would it work?

“As a powerhouse in arts & culture, economy, politics and of course retail, it’s no wonder London is sometimes regarded as one of the capital cities of the world. But compared to the likes of New York or even Paris, it doesn’t quite have a 24-hour economy. The Retail Gazette asked experts whether this could work for the city’s retail industry.”

Australian cities are arguably even further away from a 24-hour economy than London, but this short piece from The Retail Gazette offers an insight into what round-the-clock retail would look like.


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