By: Judith Russell.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the demise of bricks-and-mortar retail are premature.
Though mall traffic is declining around the country and sales at non-store retailers are growing faster than any other industry segment, some online apparel merchants are finding the best way to grow their e-commerce business is to open stores. Physical stores are still useful marketing tools for introducing brands to new customers, who may then be more likely to shop their site.
The newest web-to-reality entrant is vintage fashion fave Nasty Gal, founded by Sophia Amoruso in 2006. The brand opened its first store on Melrose in Los Angeles last November, and now, with a fresh round of financing secured by none other than former Apple and J.C. Penney chief Ron Johnson, just opened a second store in Santa Monica Friday and plans to open more. The company said it’s the natural next step for the brand, and a great way to increase consumer interaction and engagement.