By: SHELLIE FRAI
After years of taking center stage as the stand-out example of a retail store for young consumers, Urban Outfitters shares plummet to a new low as sales fall short of expectations.
Nasty Gal, the e-commerce store that was once a booming mecca for young online shoppers, recently felt the same decline of sales. Except, unlike Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal was unable to turn its low sales into profits and earlier this year the e-commerce store was forced to file for bankruptcy.
The decline of established retail stores come at a time when social media outlets like Instagram and Facebook and online marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy make it easier for consumers to become the producers.
Instagram and Facebook, as well as Amazon and Etsy, allow ordinary people to start online businesses and stores with a click of a button.
By registering your account as a business, one can easily start posting handmade clothing, jewelry and even furniture to their pages for sale.
Bagatiba, Same Swimwear, Gisou and The Blonde Salad Shop are all retail stores created on social media and all have a following of over 50,000 people.
On these social media outlets and online marketplaces, one can even buy ad space to promote their merchandise to their target audiences.
Because of the accessibility and uniqueness of handmade garments and items, many fast-fashion stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap and J. Crew are losing long-time customers that now prefer to stay at home to shop rather than make a trip to the mall.
Established retail stores are trying new ways to get customers back into their stores.
Urban Outfitters is set on making their stores a place to not only shop, but get your hair done and have lunch. Abercrombie & Fitch switched from their typical preppy polos and khakis to maxi-dresses and bohemian blouses that are severely marked down.
However, their efforts are not gaining the reception they need to compete with the online marketplaces. The retail stores sales keep declining while as of early February, Amazon’s revenue increased 22 percent, according to investing website, fool.com.
Only time will tell if brick-and-mortar stores will keep up with the allure of e-commerce shops.