Education | The Toxicity of Mass Retail

of Mass

The juggernaut of all brands, Nike, is cutting its retailers from 30,000 to about 40. That’s right 4-0. Why does this matter? Because it reinforces why I started a small batch, limited edition apparel company. And what is the reason for such a big shift in their business? There’s likely a multitude of reasons, but here are some of my theories:

Nike Swoosh


First, in a world constantly seeking what’s next, new or special, mass retail has become toxic in its overexposure. It boils down to basic economics. Everyone knows that scarcity can lead to an increase in demand and a greater sense of value for an item. Nike realizes this and is taking the hard, yet necessary steps to get them back to covet-worthy status; which will include scaling back on availability and access. I bet creating FOMO is literally written in their Marketing strategy!



Second, I think they’re trying to adapt to the consumer of today’s time. A consumer who is younger, shops online, is hungry for experiences and interested in brands that have a lasting and positive impact on the world. And let’s be honest, a consumer who compares all purchases and experiences to Amazon (otherwise known as “The Amazon Effect”). A recent Forbes article stated the attributes desired for products by the once largest generation (the Baby Boomers) when they were in their purchasing prime as:
  • Mass distribution
  • Commercialized
  • Global
  • Generic
  • Prestigious
  • Associated with status

However, the Millennial and Gen Z consumers of today’s time want different values associated with their products including:

  • Locally-sourced
  • Ethically made, with fair salaries paid to everyone in the supply chain
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Artisanal
  • Authentic
  • Experiential
  • Convenient (i.e. Online with easy returns)

As you can see, there’s a stark difference in what consumers of today want in their products and Nike is making some serious shifts to align better with those. 

In fact, these values are shifting all of big box retail. All this adds up to people placing less value on having access to a wide selection — the very advantage that big box stores leverage. In order to survive, they all need to start making big plays like Nike to focus more of their efforts online or host more immersive, memorable, share-worthy experiences. Because let’s face it, if you can’t gram it than did it really even happen?


Selfie Pose 

I’m excited to own and operate an online specialty store in retail’s changing landscape. And I’m glad Trove fits the bill for some of the very values that consumers want out of their products these days. I have a long way to go to measure up to the titans of retail, but I’m committed to evolving to better serve our customers however and wherever I can. Until then, let’s remain uncompromising in our values, especially when it comes to where and how we shop.

January 24, 2018 by Jaclyn Dowdle