The world-famous Opening Ceremony concept store in Soho, New York, will be closed, and in a sense, this marks the end of the era of concept stores, BoF writes.
The closure of the concept store was announced after the sale of the Opening Ceremony New Guards Group, which we wrote about earlier.
It is clear that the deal did not mean the death of the brand itself. Opening Ceremony will continue to exist in the New Guards Group portfolio, the founders of the store Carol Lim and Umberto Leon will remain its creative directors and will continue to release things under this brand, possibly even opening Opening Ceremony stores will open. Nevertheless, the same concept store on Govadrd Street, which attracted a fashionable party, held iconic parties and high-profile presentations will cease to exist.
Like the Opening Ceremony, Colette's conceptual Paris boutique closed in 2017. Both stores essentially could not stand the changing conditions in the retail market, changes in the consumer behavior model provoked by the booming heyday of e-commerce.
Bof notes that despite the attractiveness of stores such as Opening Ceremony, including for tourists, they can increasingly be compared to exhibition venues - people come to them, but this does not mean that visitors leave the store with purchases.
“Sometimes a customer, even standing in a fitting boutique, immediately orders the goods that fit him in another online store that offers it at a 30% discount as part of an early seasonal sale,” writes BoF.
The unique experience that consumers receive when serving in traditional retail is certainly an occasion for shopping, but this cannot eliminate the effects of the Internet. For example, restaurants or cafes built into the store can generate traffic, but this does not solve sales problems.
One of the options for its solution is to provide goods in the concept store that actually cannot be bought anywhere else. For example, in Los Angeles there is a Noodle Stories store where brands that are nowhere else to be found in the United States, such as Art & Science, are represented. Noodle Stories does not have a website, and discounts in it begin no earlier than January, that is, much later than in the rest of the retail.
Brands that manage their own retail can also present a wider range in their stores, as well as customize the range to the location of a store.
Direct sales also give greater control over the receipt of goods on sale.
Of course, writes Bof, if you sell things that people want to buy, and they have no other choice, how to purchase them from you, this is the best scenario. But this is rare, because brands often do not have a budget to create such an extensive and upscale own retail, which, among other things, makes the buying process fascinating.
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