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Late to the game but not to be ignored

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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.

Let's 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.

Consumers 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. 

  


 

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