On April 19, SACCNY gathered members and friends for an interactive panel discussion themed “the future of retail”. The sold-out event was hosted by Levon Carlson, Store Manager at Fjällräven’s popular SoHo location and featured the President of J. Lindeberg USA, Jonas Andersson and Founder, CEO and Creative Director of the Lexington Company, Kristina Lindhe. Fjällräven’s store – conveniently located on Greene Street (which often goes by the nickname “Little Sweden” as it is door to door with other Swedish success brands such as Acne Studios, Gudrun Sjödén, Stutterheim, Byredo and many others – provided an excellent venue with a genuine atmosphere.Many of our members have expressed interest in the future of the retail industry which is why we decided to dedicate an issue of the In New York Magazine last year and this panel discussion to the important question:Will e-commerce lead to the defeat of physical stores or is consumer-centered experience shopping the way to go?
“As for us, with the largest consumer group being the millennials, we see that today’s customers are looking for a complete brand experience. They value brands that align with their own thought processes and values. Therefore, we continuously work on making our brand an experience; in addition to having retail locations we are adding events to widen the scope.”
—Levon Carlson, Store Manager of Fjällräven, SoHo
“During the past few years, we have seen a tremendous increase in supply in department stores, brand stores, and retail chains. Also, the cost of operating has increased, especially in prime location due to higher rents. This pressure, combined with the need of massive margins only allow bigger brands like us to even afford having stores in prime locations. The cost of operations has to come down, it needs a serious adjustment.”
—Jonas Andersson, President of J. Lindeberg
“The biggest change is now; there is a big transformation of customer behaviour and how the consumers shop and we have to meet the customer where they are. The consumer doesn’t care where they meet the brand, whether it is online, in social media or in the physical store. Therefore, we need to create a total meeting with the brand. We use to say we are not a retailer, but rather we are a we-tailer, we need to build a community, as a total multichannel retailer.”
—Kristina Lindhe, CEO, Founder and Creative Director of the Lexington Company