Retail isn’t dead – curated is king

Entrepreneurial social media entrepreneurs are capitalising on consumer retail fatigue by creating highly curated shopping experiences in a bid to reinvigorate the market place.

Online is a given, bricks and mortar is a nice to have, pop up is a great brand exercise – and curated is king, according to a series of entrepreneurs who are leading retail trends in Melbourne.

Instagram entrepreneurs Renee Falckh and Amy Cimino built their personal brand on the platform, leveraging their following to then create a potential retail audience. The Wild Collective, their first event, will launch in August, partnering with major brands and names including Thermomix and model turned entrepreneur, Jessa Hart.

Falckh and Cimino say retail has evolved dramatically in Australia in the past 15 years; moving from bricks in mortar, to online, pop up, and now, curated.

“Previously, there were only small markets or big shopping malls, leading to a small but growing segment of independent retailers and a surge in online shopping. The trend of pop up shops made the retail experience exciting again, but it can be a costly brand awareness exercise.”

 

The Wild Collective Resident Artist Kelogsloop 2

 

Melbourne entrepreneur Lucy Feagins’ Design Files Open House, leveraged the success of her influential blog, The Design Files. Partnering with Dulux, Fiat, Jardan and Bank of Melbourne, Feagins’ team successfully and seamlessly created a highly editorial retail environment. The Design Files Open House is widely regarded one of the most popular cross brand promotions in the curated retail space.

Curated spaces don’t escape big shopping brands. Melbourne shopping precinct Emporium has delivered consistently curated partnerships between brands since launching with filmmaker Baz Luhrmann for their launch in 2014. #emporiumreimagined events have included regular VIP nights, partnerships with internal retailers, George Colombaris’ Press Club and the Grand Hyatt.

Bricks and mortar and pop up sites have a role to play, however the curated experience is a market feedback expense that will bring retailers a valuable return on investment, says Alexandra Riggs of Oobi.

“When you present yourself to the public you learn and grow in infinite measures. For Oobi, exhibiting in an exciting event for us isn’t so much about selling product, but more about presenting ourselves to the public as an ethical and unique company and communicating our values to grow our audiences. For our business, the opportunity to showcase our range face-to-face, meet potential new customers and talk about our ethical production, modes of working, get feedback is invaluable, so it’s worth the investment.”