Rent the Runway, Casper and Glossier all reached valuations of 1 billion dollar in the past week. They are all primarily e-commerce websites and sell their products online retail stores to central locations within urban hubs. This comes at a time as the giants in the retail space such as Gap, JCPenney and Victoria secret have announced nearly 5000 store closings in 2019 alone.
The transition away from Brick and Mortar has been an inevitible step for companies in the past ten years but the rapid growth of a new kind of competitor has only increased the pressure. Erica Pandey of Axios calls this the “Instagramification of retail” where they build out a few physical stores but then use them as profitable pyschical advertising for the company. The locations first priority is design, brand exposure and creating shareable moments. As more of these companies revenue comes from sales online, retail and fashion will continue to shift how they utilize their physical locations and we interact with their products.