If the past few years have been characterized by “failures” and store closures in the retail world, 2019 may just be the year of the comeback. From Sears, to Town Shoes and Jean Machine, even longtime mall staples, sadly, haven’t been able to stay afloat in today’s climate.
But now, a few retailers are rising from the ashes, rebuilding their brand and reclaiming their place on the North American retail scene.
Here’s a look at 3 retailers making a comeback in 2019:
Bebe was a go-to for teens and 20-something females with places to be for decades. Blame the rise of fast fashion, a decrease in mall traffic, or a loss of interest in the often risque clothing, the brand – which was founded in San Francisco back in 1976 – closed about 168 stores in North America in 2017. Unlike others, Bebe wasn’t grossly bankrupt in its graceful and drama-free disappearance from the mall and maintained a presence online for its loyal shoppers. Showing no sign of becoming a thing of the past — even if physical stores are absent from the equation — the brand has recently unveiled a new and improved loyalty program and a revamped e-commerce site.
Bebe’s new e-commerce site is filled with stunning imagery and is easy to navigate. Its freshly updated loyalty program ClubBebe offers a points system: the more points earned, the higher the discount granted on the next purchase. Clever digital branding has also helped Bebe’s cause and has included ad campaigns with global influencers and wide-reaching social media content. Brand management firm Bluestar Alliance, which has a $35-million stake in the company and manages its daily operations, has led the Bebe’s impressive comeback.
As the name suggests, everything in the store will be $10 and under and will include clothing, toys, household furnishings, toiletries, and food. Under the direction of 89-year-old retail veteran Mal Coven, who helped build the original brand, the plan is to open four more stores by the end of 2020. If a brand can comeback after 15 years out of business and live to talk about it, then we also have hope for some of our favourite brands that have shuttered operations as of late (RIP).
It was a sad time in 2017, when iconic fashion brand American Apparel went bankrupt and announced it would shut down its stores, leaving countless young people wondering where they would now turn for for basics, weekend wear, and costume parties. Despite the shuttering of all of its brick and mortar shops, it didn’t take long for the brand to re-launch south of the border and announce an international e-commerce expansion last year. Canada is now one of the 200 countries that the company will ship to. There is one lone bricks and mortar shop, located on Melrose in Los Angeles, the place where the brand rose to success.
The refreshed American Apparel stays true to its tradition of classic, timeless fashion styles, but is more focused on body positivity and diversity than ever before — something that’s reflected in its progressive vs. provocative ad campaigns — featuring a more inclusive range of sizes and fits. Naturally, American Apparel still features core basics, along with all-time fan favourites like the iconic disco pants, bodysuits, metallic leggings, unisex hoodies, and fisherman pullovers. The best part is that the pieces are available at lower prices than before.
While the fate of these beloved brands is unknown, what they do have is a strong sense of brand recognition and loyal customers who are just as excited as they are to be back in the retail game.
Featured Image: Facebook/Nancy Vink
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