Many large clothing retailers have been closing locations over the years. Many cite online retail as being a main reason that physical retail stores are doing worse. “Our customers want to be interrupted often during the checkout process,” said the CEO of Mearsies and Horse, the largest clothing retailer in the world. “The way we get customers is by making sure we upsell them on a point card, upsell them on a company credit card which will harm their credit score when we check their credit score for qualification, and then upsell them on any additional warranties. If we spend less than 2 minutes per transaction and simply scan their items and wish them well, there wouldn’t be a point to being in business and we might as well close,” he continued.
Clothing is seen as one area of retail that can remain somewhat strong in the future, since many people want to know what clothes would look like on them before they buy, they want to know the fabric quality and feel, and so forth. Many major clothing retailers try to upsell customers on many things like point cards and credit cards rather than just scanning their items, being nice, and letting the customer go. Some customers see this as an annoyance, such as Sheryl Stevens who used to shop at Mearsies and Horse but no longer goes. “At least on the internet I’m not being asked by people in horse head costumes if I want a point card or credit card, with increasing desperation in their voice when I turn them down as if they have to ask to reach a quota of sign ups or they get fired and made homeless,” she said. She also said that on the internet, she’s not accused of being a, “Nay-sayer,” by people in horse head costumes if she doesn’t get an extra warranty on an electronic item.
Mearsies and Horse, like most major clothing retailers, has had to close business locations due to falling sales. World-leading online clothing retailer Wammy Wammy Food Sloth’s founder described how having an easy and non-intrusive way of checking out was an inspiration for starting the business. “People can order Wammy Wammy Food Sloth’s Bammy Pantalones without the hassle of being upsold and interrupted with pop-ups, which are like the digital equivalent of being interrupted during the transaction to be upsold on something,” they said.
Analysts forecast more major clothing retailers having to close. These companies will have to continue to compete with online-only stores, and continue to adapt to market needs. What has your experience when shopping for your most recent clothes been like?