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The death of traditional retail. Really?
We are beginning to see a formula emerge with successful fashion eCommerce start-ups - Bonobos, Warby Parker, Rent the Runway, etc. Launch online, generate traction (typically >$1MM in Y1) and scale the business with significant VC by focusing on paid customer acquisition and grassroots marketing initiatives in various markets. Having the resources (and the need to maintain high growth rates for their investors), the businesses are turning to retail where the high gross margin structures of these businesses along with some established brand recognition allow them to capture foot traffic and generate sales of many established retailers. I believe this new class of once online-only fashion-startups will be the next generation of retail.
I, for one, think Marc Andreessen is incorrect in thinking software will eradicate retail For certain categories, especially fashion, shopping is an enjoyable and sought experience for many people and while the actual experience will be improved by technology (in-store), eCommerce will not capture a gigantic amount more of apparel retail.
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