Every industry has its main players, but also disruptors, innovators, niche players that find a different business model, innovate in fabrics, have a different approach to the customer…
We can mention the value proposition of Warby Parker (Pure player, high quality, good price), Bonobos (Easy shopping, better fit), Rent the Runway (Fashion-as-a-service), Everlane (Radical Transparency), Trunk Club (subscription-based fashion)… These are the niche players that have the ability to adapt faster to the latest trends. They detect market needs and respond thanks to the empowerment of digital and e-commerce.
Those niche players, most pure players, are young, flexible and adaptable. This is why they can grow exponentially and big players, dinosaurs of the industry, only can try to steal their skilled resources or acquired them (e.g. Bonobos acquired by Walmart, Trunk Club acquired by Nordstrom). It´s, again, the Long tail effect in the Fashion industry.
Total Retail listed the 2018 Retail Game Changers. This is a list that highlights the entrepreneurs and startup businesses that are disrupting the retail industry, whether it be it through digital innovation, unique product, enhancements to the supply chain, or a multitude of other ways.
Rothy´s In 2013, after three years of globe-trotting trial and error, the Roth Martin and Stephen Hawthornthwaite founded Rothy’s in San Francisco (California), a shoe brand sold exclusively online. Rothy´s mission was to create the most stylish, comfortable shoe for today’s on-the-go woman. And do it with low-waste, low-impact materials, hand-assembled for high quality and durability. Hence Rothy’s was born. Determined to make the shoes from environmentally friendly materials, the partners opted for fiber made from recycled plastic bottles for the uppers, carbon-free recyclable rubber for the soles and recyclable foam for the insoles.
Then, developed a computer program that dictates a 3-D knitting process and creates a seamless three-dimensional upper made of compressed fiber, without wasting fabric or yarn on cuts or leftovers. The upper is then attached to the sole as a whole, by hand. After trying, and failing, to establish an American supply chain, they took their prototype to China. The first Rothy’s launched soon after, in early 2016.
State Give. Back. Pack. In 2009, Scot and Jacq Tatelman founded Country Roads Foundation – a nonprofit organization that has served thousands of New York City kids. After watching countless kids carrying their possessions in ripped trash bags, Scot and Jacq formed STATE – a company that promises to not only deliver much needed supplies, but to also provide youth with the tools to reach their fullest potential and better their communities. And to always have their backs.
STATE Bags is an example of long tail company that is based on values, a true story telling and social sensitivity. #WhatDoWeTellTheKids project, for example, aims to shed light and share stories around social injustices and marginalized populations across the US. Another initiative from STATE Bags is the Flint Project that supports upwards of 10,000 kids in Flint still impacted by the ongoing water crisis.
The Groomsman Suit was founded in 2016 in NY, and then relocated to Chicago. TGS mission is to create a new solution for black tie attire: a sharp-looking tuxedo that could be purchased for less than the cost of a traditional rental. The TGS brand is unique in that they are focused on only selling men’s wedding wear online.
Launched on Kickstarter, it manufactures in China and Italy, while avoid middle-men and brick-and-mortar locations costs. This pure player offers convenience services such as “find your fit”, “try at home”, “receive a fabric swatch” and “talk to the stylist”. The Groomsman Suit has designed and manufactured a tuxedo and suit that is priced below the cost of the traditional rental at $194 featuring an updated fit, high quality fabrics and construction, in a solid variety of colors that fit into today’s wedding trends.
Jenzy The Jenzy app is a foot sizing and e-commerce app that makes it easy to buy perfectly fitted shoes for young children online. According the company, 70% of children are wearing shoes that don´t fit.
In 2016, Eve and Carolyn registered their business, Jenzy – a name derived by Generation Z – the demographic of children they would focus on sizing. Since then, created a patent-pending technology, conducted beta tests with over 300 moms and dads and formed partnerships with some of the leading kid shoe brands on the market (e.g. New Balance).
Located in the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia), the team at Jenzy is working day in and day out with one goal in mind: to create a shoe shopping experience that empowers busy parents to feel confident when buying shoes for their children. Read more about how Artificial Intelligence is helping customers to find the right size here.
Download the Full Report about Game Changer from Total report here