Michele's 3rd Case Study went live on Business of Home today. We're so excited for its release because it punctuates the other two articles she's written for the series "The paradigm shift: A successful way forward for brick-and-mortar." Find out more about Guesst.co, the platform Michele Helped develop as a solution for designers and retailers.
A year and a half ago, I hosted the first in a series of Design Talk Roundtables held at my SoHo shop, alongside designer Malene Barnett, Maxwell Ryan of Apartment Therapy, my friend and fellow Guesst co-founder Jay Norris, and Darin Vest—at the time the head of retail real estate at L’Oréal. Vest reported to the packed room: “Whether you’re a newer brand or you started as a brick-and-mortar company, everyone is coming back to brick-and-mortar from some direction.”
“Even Amazon,” I added. “Even Amazon,” he echoed with a note of incredulity.
The roomful of designers, retailers and experts all concurred: Although the internet has changed, challenged and even disabled a lot of things about the way retail operates, the valuation of brick-and-mortar is surging, and is, in essence, still where it’s at.
Because it’s still so valuable, we have to find a way to make brick-and-mortar retail work. As I’ve detailed in my last two Case Study articles—about what’s actually affecting retail and what needs to be maintained from its original operational paradigms—many independent creative brands are struggling to understand, reorient to and ultimately outpace the changes that the retail industry is undergoing.
There is a solution, though—one that can move us forward as a retail community, that’s realistic, with almost no barriers to entry, and that ensures continued contribution of the creative industries to both our design ecosystem and our economy at large.