The big names in brick and mortar retail have, for the most
part been in the online retail game for the best part of two decades and have
come a long way since their early years in online retail.
Here’s your throwback photo of the day,
Target.com circa 1999.
convenient solution to satisfy your shopping
needs. So let’s be honest here. Some new bells and whistles on your website may
interest us, but it’s really no big deal. It’s been a long time since a
retailer going online has made headlines. Newsflash it’s not news anymore! That
is until last week when Marshalls finally launched its retail site. Big yawn,
right? Not so fast, there may be more to this than you think. Marshalls has
just over 1000 locations in the United States, and their in-store sales have
been quite healthy compared with many other brick native retailers who have
struggled to stay relevant in the online age. So why has a successful brick and
mortar retailer decided to get into online retail at this relatively late date?
It’s a fascinating question because Marshalls is known for its rabid fanbase
that live for the thrill of the instore hunt. This move seems to go against its
treasure hunting brand, but so far they seem to have accomplished a similar
feel with the new site.
A look at Marshalls new online store, in keeping with the
treasure hunt feel, the site has individual listings that must be clicked on to
reveal the brand.
return to the why now question and attempt to answer it. There are two leading
theories for the move; the first is the simple explanation everyone is in
online retail, so Marshalls has to be in on online retail as well. It’s true
everyone is these days, and going online means sales growth, what retailer does
not want that? The second theory, which is far more interesting, is that it’s a
first step to creating a new third-party marketplace. Now this theory may be a
bit premature for a retailer that entered online retail last week, but
Marshalls is in prime position to create an off-price apparel and home goods
third-party marketplace that could put other players to shame. The significant
strength of third-party marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and all the
others is their vast and diverse product mix. This is also one of their most
significant weaknesses, lack of core focus. You can buy a t-shirt and a new
muffler from Amazon, eBay or Walmart, but is your entire wardrobe from one of
these three retailers? Most likely no. Marshalls has a reputation for good
deals on designer brands, and you can build a respectable wardrobe from
Marshalls purchases. It also has a significant leg up in terms of brand
recognition, not to mention a very loyal client base. Add to this mix
third-party marketplace sellers, and you have yourself a force to be reckoned
with that has a solid focus.
want quality, and a good deal never hurts; that’s why there will always be
independent retailers like you that offer their customers a multitude of
options. You know, too, that you can rely on Foxliquidation,
a leader in the liquidation industry, to deliver all of these options. So will
you be selling your wares on Marshalls anytime soon? Only time will tell.