Another Retail...I Think
So, just when you think they’ve come up with every possible variation on the retail model, along comes a new one.
This one is interesting…if somewhat convoluted and not entirely logical.
It seems there is this online-only website called Everlane that sells mostly fashion accessories like belts and bags and such. They claim to have good prices with everything selling for under $100.
But one of the people behind the company recently confessed in a story in The New York Times that they have concerns about how to tell their value story online. Their solution? Open a retail pop-up store…sort of.
The store, which in the finest tradition of the new age of irony we live in is called Not a Shop, was in operation this past weekend in New York City’s Soho neighborhood.
But wait, here’s the gimmick: The exact same merchandise sold online was available in the store for a significantly higher price. That’s right, shoppers were charged a premium for the privilege of buying in-person. If you placed an order for Everlane’s goods at the store for later delivery, you got the good online price.
I’m not quite sure I get the thinking behind this program and I seriously doubt the typical shopper will either. But gimmicks such as this one show that the retail model continues to be tinkered with, twisted and generally played with despite the maturity of the business.
The Times article asked the question, “Clever or annoying?” I’m going with the latter here, folks.