While traditional retailers struggle with the High Street, another online pure-play is joining the small but growing rank of etailers getting physical. Ecommerce fashion e- platform, The Cherry Moon is launching its first store on the King’s Road with the aim of revamping retail.
The flagship store, which will showcase limited clothing, beauty and wellness products from emerging fashion designers from around the world, opens its doors to the public on April 12 during a VIP and media launch event and is set to feature beacon technology and mobile integration to create an “incredibly fluid experience,” according to Jevz Nair, co-founder and head of technology at The Cherry Moon.
The Cherry Moon launched online last year with the aim of bringing unique and exciting products and lines from emerging fashion designers to customers wanting to look beyond high street brands.
The company will look to emulate the success of the website – which now boasts more than 300 products from more than 30 independent designers – by bringing its one-of-a-kind model to an even wider consumer base.
“It’s not just the likes of Amazon who have spotted the potential of beacon technology – we’re aiming to perfect it,” says Nair. “We are working on bringing an incredibly fluid experience to customers; one that will do away with queuing at the tills. Instead, shoppers will be able to simply walk in, head to the check out and their items with be priced up automatically — all without the clerk having to scan individual barcodes. Customers will also have the option to pay via The Cherry Moon app, using Apple or Android Pay.”
According to Nair, The Cherry Moon is poised to create an app to help develop this process and create a new model of retail. “We are currently in talks with a firm based in Finland who we think will play a pivotal role in bringing together the hardware-side of things, while The Cherry Moon develops its own bespoke software and the smartphone app,” he says.
“Shoppers will not only be able to buy from The Cherry Moon’s website catalogue, but will also be able to see what’s available to pick up in-store,” he says. “Additionally, our partner designers will be able to monitor which of their items are selling and which are not, giving them an unprecedented, real-time insight.”
Designers will also benefit from state-of-the-art technology – including beacons – designed by Nair, which provides an insight into how products are selling in real-time so that designers can re-stock especially popular lines and pieces without waiting for the store to manually prompt them.
Elisha Carter, co-founder of The Cherry Moon, says: “People will tell you that the high street is struggling but you only need to take a look at the runaway success of brands like Supreme and the queues outside of its Soho store to see that up-and-coming designers are having their moment in the sun.”
Carter continues: “On top of that, customers are increasingly conscious of where their clothing is coming from – consumers would rather spend a little more to know that their clothing is sustainable and that that smaller designers are being paid fairly for their work. Our aim is to give these exciting independent designers an outlet for their unique brands but also buy into consumer enthusiasm for limited runs on certain lines.”
Nair adds: “Our hybrid approach of ‘clicks and mortar’ proves that the so-called death of the high street has been greatly exaggerated and that the closure of stores is actually just a response to the way that consumer spending habits are changing. Being an online-first business, we felt perfectly placed to swim against the narrative, launching a high street presence once we knew that there was an appetite for a blended online and physical approach to retailing.”
“This blended model gives our emerging designers the exposure they need to break into the UK market, while also helping to ‘democratise’ the fashion industry by giving breakout brands a medium that they would otherwise struggle to achieve,” says Nair. “For those just starting out, the fashion industry can be a hard one to break in to. But our model gives designers a leg up in that it offers them real-time analytics of how their products are selling. This gives them an insight into emerging fashion trends – as they happen – allowing them to plan accordingly.”
The move to involve online thought in in-store applications is the key to revamping retail. Earlier this week a study by digital marketing agency Marketingsignals.com revealed that 85% of people still prefer to physically purchase products in store, despite the convenience offered by online and mobile shopping.
However, online and mobile marketing is what is driving shoppers into stores.
Gareth Hoyle, managing director at Marketingsignals.com comments: “Retailers who utilize digital technologies to drive in store footfall, whilst tracking and attributing customers to their digital spend are setting themselves up most likely to succeed in the modern age.”