- Retail isn’t dying – it’s changing. 2019 is set to bring more exciting changes to the industry.
- Digitally native brands are dipping their toes into brick-and-mortar retail while some legacy brands are being forced to adapt or die.
- These will be some of the most exciting brands to watch in 2019.
Retail isn’t dying – it’s evolving. And 2019 is set to bring more exciting changes to the industry.
Some of the nation’s most established brands have been faced with the fact that they either have to adapt or die, while some are being forced to take lessons from trendy young startups that have swooped in and redefined the way we shop.
Younger brands that often started out online are also dipping their toes into brick-and-mortar retail.
From Outdoor Voices and Vans to ThirdLove and Glossier, these will be some of the most exciting brands to watch in 2019:
- Courtesy of Outdoor Voices
Hot athletic wear brand Outdoor Voices is on a mission to become the world’s No. 1 athletics brand, overtaking more established brands like Lululemon and Under Armour.
In just under five years, 30-year-old founder Tyler Haney has built the brand from being an e-commerce-only platform to now having eight permanent stores in the United States.
Earlier this year, the company raised $34 million in funding, bringing its total raised to $56.5 million. At the time, it said it would use the additional funding to grow its store count. Two more locations are slated to open this fall and we can expect to see it spreading its reach throughout 2019.
Savage X Fenty
Rihanna’s underwear brand Savage X Fenty made headlines in September for its racy runway show that featured models of all shapes, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds, including two pregnant women. The brand was praised on social media for celebrating diversity.
As Victoria’s Secret continues to come under pressure and has been accused of having a lack of inclusivity in its campaigns, more body-positive brands such as Savage X Fenty are likely to take market share in 2019.
It’s been an active year for online lingerie startup Lively, which made its first foray into brick and mortar in July, opening a pop-up store in New York’s Soho area.
A spokesperson for the brand said that the company is eyeing Dallas for its new permanent store after running a pop-up location there.
In August, Lively announced that it would be partnering with Nordstrom to bring its products to some of its department stores and onto its website. The company is now looking to expand this partnership.
“Our Nordstrom partnership exceeded our expectations. For 2019, we’re hoping to make it bigger, better and broader,” a spokesperson told Business Insider in November.
In May this year, Lulus announced that it had raised $120 million in venture funding.
The California-based brand told Busines Insider that it plans to use the money to open more fulfillment centers around the US to speed up shipping times, roll out a new personalized shopping experience where customers can chat with personal stylists, and launch a bridal concierge service that would help brides-to-be and their bridesmaids shop for dresses.
In 2019, Lulus plans to market itself to a wider audience, reaching shoppers in Canada, Mexico, Australia, and the UK.
Californian skater brand Vans has been around since the 1960s but has exploded in popularity in recent years. After it was acquired by VF Corporation in 2004, it went from selling 90% of its products in California to growing its reach across the globe, making the leap to Asia and Europe.
According to Piper Jaffray’s latest “Taking Stock With Teens” survey, Vans has had the fastest growth in popularity since the study began in 2000.
- Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
The brand is leading the way in beauty products. It has attracted more than $86 million in funding since founder Emily Weiss began selling beauty products in 2013, and revenues reportedly tripled from 2016 to 2017.
According to Bloomberg, the company sells one of its popular $16 “Boy Brow” eyebrow shapers every minute, accounting for an estimated $8 million in sales per year.
Off-White was labeled the hottest brand in the world in a recent ranking released by fashion and e-commerce platform Lyst. According to Business of Fashion, since launch Off-White has generated triple-digit growth year-on-year and shows “little sign of slowing down any time soon,” reporter Christopher Morency wrote.
Online lingerie brand ThirdLove has made it possible to buy bras without having to go near a fitting room. Customers complete an online quiz to find their perfect bra shape. Bras are shipped to the customer, who has the chance to test out the bra for 30 days and then either keep it – and be charged – or return it.
The company says it now has over 600 million data points about breast shapes, bra sizes, and the most common fit issues that women face. It also offers half sizes.
Founder Heidi Zak told Business Insider earlier this year that the company has no plans to go into brick-and-mortar retail but is continuing to iterate based on the data it receives, enabling it to roll out new sizes.
In 2019, we can expect to see ThirdLove looking at ways to blend technology with human customer service.
“There are certain things that machine learnings and algorithms can’t achieve,” Zak said. “That’s the interesting thing for us, when does the real person step in? When is the right moment for the fit stylist to step in?”
Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, Goop, started out as a newsletter in 2008 and has grown to become a $250 million business, now boasting a string of stores, an e-commerce site, and a podcast.
The company is now planning to move into television, though the details have been scarce so far.
- Facebook/Fashion Nova
The California-based retailer now has 13.8 million followers on Instagram, was one of the most-searched brands on Google last year, and ranked as the No. 6 preferred website for young people in Piper Jaffray’s semi-annual survey of teen spending habits last month.
The company is in the process of opening a new distribution center on the west coast to support its rapid expansion.