BCBGMaxAzria, a popular fashion-forward apparel brand featuring chic luxury styles is closing their brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S. A go-to store for prom dresses and business attire alike, loyal shoppers are devastated by the potential loss of another beloved brand. BCBG’s struggles are particularly painful because their product quality and style were so unique.
Another Blow to Fine Shopping
We’re currently in a dynamic shift of retail transaction volume from malls to online and for those of you who prefer online shopping, this may be a good thing. For now, BCBG will continue to sell online, but with chief creative officer Lubov Azria leaving the brand she started with her husband Max, it’s hard to believe the brand will ever be the same. And as thankful as I am that we will not be forced to say goodbye entirely, I cannot help but feel that we will be losing the full shopping experience.
When walking into a store you immediately feel that this is a luxury retailer. The shop assistants are attentive, helpful, and will provide you with several articles of clothing or shoes to match any single item you have selected to try on. This personalized experience is not one that can, as of yet, be replicated online. Personally, when I shop I have something specific that I am looking for. Sometimes for a special event or to add a choice piece to my wardrobe collection. Reflecting back on BCBG’s habits on personalizing your fitting room experience, I find that I end up purchasing far more than originally planned as I am introduced to new trendy styles and outfits I would never have considered putting together on my own.
The convenience of online shopping is not to be denied, but it pales in comparison to the confidence you feel after making an in-store purchase with the assurance of hitting the mark on both style and fit.
The Future of Retail
BCBG and other brands may pivot to the “experience store” (as they are sometimes called). These showrooms allow customers to touch and feel the luxurious fabrics and enjoy the in-store experience we’ve come to look forward to from high-end brands. Once she knows she has the right fit, she orders from a touch screen or her phone - no price comparisons needed. She can choose from the brand’s full assortment from a virtual endless aisle. Everything would be fulfilled from the distribution center, often same day.
In-store style consultants would have the complete season at their disposal to complement your selection, emphasizing how crucial the personalized fitting room experience is for consumers. Perhaps as more luxury brand retailers such as BCBG close their physical stores we will see more of these new “showrooms”. I will be waiting. Until then we can always shop online and regret the seeming end of the in-store shopping generation.