Retail Round-Up: Etsy Goes Offline, Get Ready for the New Mall and Back-to-School means Back-to-Stores

The mall of the future won’t look anything like it does today: Big box stores will give way to smaller spaces as anchors (think Walmart and Macy’s) invest instead in cost-effective distribution centers; cash registers will disappear as the Apple-model starts to gain more ground; and mall tenants will constantly be changing, providing a time-sensitive incentive for shoppers to head to the mall. (CNBC)

Etsy, the online marketplace for indie artists and designers, is officially launching a wholesale model after a two-year beta run. Sellers can now sign up to have their handcrafted goods sold through brick and mortar stores in the U.S., including partner boutiques and nationwide chains like Nordstrom and West Elm. (Forbes)

For parents, the most wonderful time of the year still means a trip to the mall. An ICSC-Goldman Sachs survey found that roughly 90% of back-to-school shoppers prefer the brick and mortar route to online shopping for clothes and supplies. And it’s not just discounters who should expect to see increased volume during the back to school season; speciality apparel stores are expected to jump from an 8.4% market share in 2013 to 10% this year. (Small Business Opportunities)

Sephora Chief Digital Officer and CMO, Julie Bornstein, weighs in on how the retail cosmetics giant plans to survive in the digital age. At the brand’s new New York flagship for instance, customers can find their perfect perfume with help from a touchscreen quiz or bring up online reviews of skincare products. They’ve also piloted innovative programs like ColorIQ, a piece of hardware that helps customers match their skin tone to the right foundation. The added benefit: lots and lots of data. (Wired)

Are you an independent retailer, a speciality retailer, or both? Matthew Hudson of Rick Segel and Associates, a retail consulting firm, opines that for small businesses the path to success is by becoming your area’s local expert. Not only does that mean your store must have a focussed selection, but your staff needs to be knowledgeable about your product so that customers keep coming back for your unique expertise. (RickSegel.com)

Stephanie Braun

Stephanie Braun

Stephanie Braun is a content writer, fashion enthusiast, and lover of pets. When she's not writing about retail trends, she's travelling the world and learning new languages.