With the 2018 holiday season behind us, retailers are analyzing, unpacking and reacting to how the year turned out. While we're still in the first month of the new year, Spring 2019 collections are already baked, and most retailers are working on fall 2019 and beyond. Even though the die is already cast for much of the first half of 2019, retailers still have time to leverage learnings from holiday 2018 in order to make a positive impact on this year's holiday season.
There's a clear pattern emerging which differentiates those retailers seeing success from those that are struggling. A widely held view is that brick-and-mortar retail is dying and that e-commerce is the only way to succeed. But if that were true, retailers such as Zara, Kohl's and Old Navy wouldn't be outperforming the rest of the industry. Zara’s e-commerce business represents only 10 percent of its total sales, and online sales at Kohl’s and Gap Inc account for approximately 15 percent and 21 percent of sales, respectively. Yet these retailers, along with some others, are doing well in the specialty apparel and department store categories — two segments that have been under siege for the last several years. Why?