Wholesale distribution managers knew it all along, traditional brand wholesale wouldn’t last forever. And 2020 saw an acceleration of change that began long before the pandemic: the termination of mediocre businesses.
But turmoil in wholesale distribution isn’t over yet; ahead lie at least one to two more years of trouble and possibly major strategy changes at online pure players.
Our research and industry dialogue ‘Future in Brand Distribution’ has been off to an enlightening start. Four weeks in, executive talks and our online survey have already returned much valuable inspiration on the future of the lifestyle industry.
The sentiment we encountered in the industry dialogues was generally positive and energising, even though many still find themselves in lockdowns. It seems as though the Covid-19 pandemic not only gave a boost to digital transformation but also liberated some of the brand industry’s best creative thinking.
“2025 retail rents will be like 2020 flight routes: back to the 1980s.”
“The future is social commerce, digital market places are an interim hype, for brand industry’s e-com latecomers.”
“In five years, an office workspace and business travel will be recruiting incentives.”
“Grandpa tells me, his company used to pay him for sourcing travel to adventurous rural locations.”
How are these snapshots for a future in brand distribution? If you think that’s outrageous, how did your 2020 forecasts from around this time last year pan out?
In a growing market, a detailed understanding of marketplace business is still rare. Here’s how to arm yourself with marketplace knowledge for success
During the first half of 2020, Zalando onboarded 180 new partners onto their marketplace. At the same time the GMV of their partner program increased 100% compared to the previous year.
Marketplace and wholesale business benefit from each other. Choose from four ways to overcome your budget limitations and become your own selling hero.
Selling on marketplaces is no longer an ‘if’ question, but has become about ‘when and how’. A deep dive into the structure of online marketplaces for fashion.
“We don’t want to sell online because we want to protect our brick & mortar stores.”
That’s a sentence I’ve heard over and over since I started working in the online sales business nine years ago. By now, however, I rarely hear it anymore in the fashion industry. But switch industry, and we’re back where fashion was when it began to embrace change a few years ago. (more…)
Growing wholesale distribution via department stores has been the most valuable path to brand growth for many years. Is that changing with multi-brand retailers in crisis across Europe and the US? How do retail concessions hold up as alternative?
Everything you should know about your potential partner retailer’s business and how to get the information you need.
There are many reasons why it makes sense to conquer a market through reliable retail partners. Besides the shared risk, lower investment and faster growth, you may want to benefit from your partner retailer’s deeper understanding of the market – the local players, dynamics (e.g. real estate and channel development) and consumer behaviours – before opening your own retail stores. (more…)
Selecting the most appropriate channel mix – using the optimal distribution model for any new market – is like finding your way in a multidimensional maze. It is one of the most complex and risky decisions top management has to make, as each market comes with its own set of conditions and requirements.
There is plenty of information available about characteristics of the different distribution channels. Therefore, in this post I would like to focus on how to select the best distribution model for your brand. A distribution model that allows you to expand into the targeted channels in a specific country in your market segment!
DTC became brands’ favourite distribution channel, but it is investment heavy. Partner retail is lighter and more profitable. VF, Pandora and Levi’s show how to grow both.
If you are like most premium and mid-market brands, partner retail is not an own distribution channel, but a strategic stepchild. If you want to determine where you are, allow me these 3 health questions:
In the competitive sporting goods industry, not many brands succeed in reaching the top, but Lululemon and Under Armour have. We outline how they created brand growth and whether they have the potential to stay on top.
Over the last couple of years some sporting goods brands have managed to gain visibility and market share and two of them – Lululemon and Under Armour – have shown an outstanding brand growth development. (more…)
Investing in wholesale buying processes was not a brand industry priority over the last few years. Tommy Hilfiger prioritized it though and created best practice.
The media is flooded with stories of new future stores and advanced consumer technologies. All brand investment strategies point towards direct-to-consumer, while digital wholesale transition is far from flavour of the month. Despite this, Tommy Hilfiger launched a new digital showroom in 2015 that has been piloted and is now being rolled out across the globe has all the ingredients for best practice wholesale buying processes. (more…)
Digital brand distribution has huge sales potential, but brands miss out on the growth opportunity. This article outlines how to achieve successful growth.
Internet marketplaces are the digital version of High Street shopping areas, but with increasing ‘footfall’. The Ecommerce Foundation estimates that by 2020, up to 40% of all online purchases will made via marketplaces. Can you afford to ignore 40% of the online market? (Ecommerce Foundation, 2015)
Department Stores in Italy went through structural changes and the perspective for brand distribution changed – we take a closer look at the current status.
Global brands use wholesale & retail distributors to enter foreign markets. This article provides tips on how to avoid pitfalls and best manage distributors.
Jan 2014, Berlin: Three years earlier, a French outerwear brand* signed an exclusive partner store distribution agreement for southern Germany. Visiting the newest German store, the French CSO realises locations continue to be rather ‘cheap’ and off the High Street. The distributor argues that the brand doesn’t pay High Street rents.
May 2014, Dubai: The CEO of a Swedish womenswear brand* is on vacation in Dubai and realises his long-time Middle East distributor is also managing 10 other brands. The brand’s previously exclusive position is diluting as the distributor’s new favourite brands get the better locations in the new malls opening up. (more…)
It was ‘the’ topic during Milan Fashion Week this spring: Starbucks is going to open its first store in Italy next year. Italy – birthplace of coffee culture and until now a ‘Starbucks-free nation’ – will host the first coffee shop of the Seattle coffee chain, right in downtown Milan! Swiss giant Nestlé first entered Italy in 1999 and opened a Nespresso flagship store (out of 6 worldwide) in Milan last year, now another big player is daring to do the impossible – the equivalent of selling ice to the Eskimos. (more…)
Brand Retail Strategy: Retailers are from Mars, Brands come from Venus, with Jupiter being Centre of Gravitation
Hundred fifty years of brand retail strategy, yet still many big brands trial & error to grow successful. We explain why experience is no guarantee for success.
A look back at around 150 years of brand retail strategy reveals a path paved with unsuccessful attempts to grow. Brand retail strategies were diverse, but annual reports tell a familiar story: none of the major midmarket brands have really made it. As Polo Ralph Lauren (retail launch 1971), Nike (1967), Levis (1983) or Esprit (1986) can attest, even experience is no guarantee for success in retail, nor does it offer exemption from crushing setbacks. And more recently Hugo Boss, Gerry Weber or Tom Tailor joined this list.
Most brands use partners to grow their brand internationally. We provide 10 best practice tips to grow your international partner distribution successfully.
You think the biggest risk in partner distribution is to lose a partner and all local sales? Puma’s CEO Jochen Zeitz thought so too, until Puma’s Greek distributor filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Puma paid a high price when it had to inform the stock market that it might lose €115m; quite a figure, considering the entire Greek sporting goods market is less than €500m in annual sales. (more…)
LEGO’s recovery from bankruptcy is a most convincing example of brand restructuring. In an excellent 20 min interview LEGO’s CEO explains how they did it. And more, you will find him somewhat singing at an investors conference.
If you believe Apple may have had the most convincing brand turn around of all time, then you should broaden your perspective by reading about LEGO’s recovery. The story is not as prominent, but has at least the same number of interesting brand strategy learnings. LEGO’s strategy mistakes and turnaround are a must-know for every brand executive. (more…)