Size Matters

Small is In
by Robin Lewis

Pardon me, but I just can’t help myself. I seem to have an Edgar Allan Poe-like fixation. In this case I’m stuck on small format retailing, including “moms and pops,” as a winning model in the over-stored and -stuffed 21st Century. Again, this is due to the format’s “smallness,” which affords it easier physical access to the consumer, across the street in their neighborhoods. It’s my preemptive distribution “thing” again: the necessity to get to the consumer first, faster and more often than the hordes of equally compelling competitors, or you lose.

And, while everybody says, “…oh yeah, I get it,” most are thinking about e-commerce. Well, while I most certainly understand that e-commerce is enormous, and the fastest growing retail preemptor, I’m finding it very difficult to get senior retail executive readers to understand that the bricks and mortar/physical aspect of the total preemptive distribution strategy is just as important.

Some of the larger players, like Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, Target, CVS and Walgreen’s, are beginning to get it. And, I do believe Walmart opened their eyes a bit wider upon realizing they were losing enormous share to the dollar stores who are blowing out their small, neighborhood stores across the country. In the department store sector, as I’ve said many times, Kohl’s led the small, convenient, neighborhood strategy way before I think they even realized it, back in the early 90’s. JCPenney picked up on the wisdom of that preemptive strategy and now has its own small store strategy. Bloomingdale’s does as well, and I wonder when their parent Macy’s will opt in. Their localization strategy certainly begs for it.

And, by the way, while this small store strategy is a necessity to continue winning share of a no-growth pie, the big traditional players also must understand that the other preemptive formats such as branded specialty chains, e- and m-commerce, TV, kiosks, pop-ups, food carts, in-flight shopping, door-to-door, living room selling parties, tractor-trailer tour trucks, and probably a dozen others I’ve missed, are not sitting still. They will continue to evolve and create. Evermore.


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Outside Event

Entrepreneur IEvening
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 4:00 – 8:00 pm
New York, Herrick, Feinstein LLP – 2 Park Ave.

VC Pitching & Power Pivot Workshop
Need to raise a million–or more? This powerful iBreakfast/iEvening quarterly meeting of entrepreneurs, VCs and seasoned execs enables start-ups to find their “pivot” point while offering a unique opportunity to raise capital.


Fashion After Bark – Designer Recap

Well, the show was fabulous – the designers, dogs, and students that organized it were all great. I always have fun leading up to the show because I get to figure out which dogs and outfits pair up best, but to see it all come together is always exciting.

I know the Press didn’t list which designers did which outfits, so let me be the one to tell you! I have to apologize, currently my photos consist of backstage photos only. I used a few runway photos from fellow FIT staff. I haven’t had a chance to go through all the video and ‘pup’arazzi photos yet…

I have to thank Diane (Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals) and Linda (Posh Pets Rescue, in the photo below) for bringing these two adorable adoptable dogs to the show!

Lisa Barnes with her fab collection of alpaca sweaters that are super soft:

Dawn Deisler with all her hand-worked leather and feathers:

Wanda Jaller with her trendy colored raincoats, which I think fit perfectly no matter the size:

Abby Kass with her super cute and functional raincoat, toy, and bandanna:

Lauren Kmiotek with her fancy lace wedding dress:

Jessica Linder with all her regal formality and feathers, very royal wedding:

Susan Linton with her fancy lace dress and smashing coats:

Irene Liu with the cutest everyday sport coats and bag, the trench is a fav:

Lindsey McGraw with her awesome line of interchangeable sportswear for larger dogs, genius:

Keith Sanna with his usual frivolity and fabulous-ness:

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