Posts Tagged ‘Crumpler’

Why don’t Aussie retailers hookup with DIY upstarts?

January 5, 2010

Happy New Year all. Over the break I was wandering around a great website for seeing new business ideas at work – Springwise and came across an idea screaming for local adaptation to the Australian market.

This post of from August last year highlights the hook-up between US fashion retailer Urban Outfitters and a custom bike builder Republic Bike.

Urban Outfitters are allowing their online customers to order custom-designed bikes (>500 combinations of those trendy fixed gear types) that are then delivered by Republic Bike.

There would appear to little risk for either party here. Republic Bike get a big boost to customer awareness and presumably gain more from economies of scale than they lose in a cut of the revenue to the retailer. Urban Outfitters get a nifty new offering that they wouldn’t be able to produce themselves (thus differentiating themselves further from other youth fashion houses – something they’d started by offering op-shop style homewares).

Presumably it wouldn’t be hard for Urban Outfitters to also offer the bikes in-store (or at least the ordering process).

Surely there is scope for such hook-ups in the Australian retail space? While not many Aussie retailers have a strong e-commerce interface (probably reflective of our terrible broadband and our highly urbanised population compared to the US), there should still scope for innovative folks like Crumpler and Haul to offer design-your-own while tapping into an existing but underutilised customer base of a more generalist retailer.

Who else would be a candidate? As producers? Retailers?


Retail reflections from the Road – part one

June 24, 2009

Blogging hasn’t been front of mind for me over the past 10 days of so.  Indeed, I have been fixated on consuming burgers, seeing sights, reading roadsigns and booking hotel/motel rooms as I traipse down through California towards San Diego.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d take this opportunity to relate my an early experience in my travels to previous posts on this here Blog.

In San Francisco I had the opportunity to experience Aussie shopping centre giant Westfield‘s US expansion.  They had done a fine job of branding and delivering a suitably slick real estate and retail offering.

There were a couple of Aussie retailers on display (Napoleon Perdis and courier-bagsters Crumpler), as well as the expected mix of US and international chains.  I was disappointed by Zara and H&M‘s offerings (their clothes didn’t seem quite as flashy yet utilitarian as they do in Europe).

I was more impressed by the offerings of Martin+Osa, a fashion house that it turns out is a brand extension from the more ubiquitous and mainstream American Eagle Outfitters.  These two brands serve as a strong reminder of the sheer size and scale of the US market and the limited need for US retailers to internationalise.  American Eagle is yet to spread its wings beyond Canada, while Martin+Osa only has stores in 17 states.  Nevertheless they are able to offer decent quality clothing at their respective (surprisingly low) price points.  Australia-only fashion retailers would simply not be able to compete at that level.

The presence of Perdis and Crumpler remind us that Aussie retailers really do need a neat point of difference to justify tackling the US scene (and beyond).

More on retail in the coming days…