One of the big stories of the last year has been how much bricks & mortar retail has struggled, with Jaeger and BHS a couple of recent victims in the UK. These high street brands have failed to adapt to the internet, and lost their customers' loyalty as a result.
So does the rise of digitally native, direct to consumer brands mean that the high street is dying? The answer seems to be no. Digital brands are moving into bricks & mortar, taking up the space vacated by the brands they disrupted - the latest examples of this are Everlane opening a flagship store and Atty London opening a pop-up.
The crucial difference is that bricks & mortar stores aren't the main sales channels for these new brands. Instead, they offer a chance to engage with consumers in person and add an experiential element to the brand.
In short, I don't think the high street will disappear - but it will change. The new high street will be about building experiences and building consumer loyalty, not just about transactions and sales.
Everlane officially moving into the brick-and-mortar space is pivotal for the start-up. Just two years ago, CEO and founder Michael Preysman told Racked that the company had no plans to open stores — but the retail landscape has shifted dramatically since then, and he's built a company nimble enough to recognize the sea change and take real action.