Julian Bell, Managing Partner, GPY&R Melbourne
There is no doubt that the retail world is going through some challenging and dynamic times. With both physical and digital stores adapting to new technologies and responding to changing consumer behaviours, it’s interesting to watch how retailers respond and change the experience they are creating. Our curiosity led us to a retail session at SXSW where we heard from Jennifer Hyman (CEO, Rent the Runway), Julie Bornstein (CMO, Sephora) and Katrina Lake (CEO, Stitch Fix) on their perspectives on the new retail paradigm.
For me, the standout from this panel session was Jennifer Hyman. The founder and CEO of “Rent the Runway” spoke passionately about the challenges facing retail and how her business has achieved its success (currently over 4 million members & 250 employees). For someone whose business is largely online, it was also pretty refreshing to not hear doomsday predictions for the future of bricks and mortar stores.