Curation in stores has a great future and Naked Retail is the perfect example. This brand operates two stores in New York, filled with all kinds of trendy DTC (Direct To Consumer) brands like Pangaia and Lele Sadoughi. Like many brands in the region, a large percentage of sales from its store in SoHo come from tourists.
Brand curation flourished at the time of the “This Is Story” store and quickly became a major commercial strategy again, as more and more consumers appreciate the product options selected to escape the overwhelming number of choices available to them. Advantages of the brand: saving time and money and more opportunities for creativity.
Naked Retail is a success in this area.
What is curation?
Curation is a content offering and the selection of products is based on their quality and compatibility with a global proposal. This concept is old and can now be illustrated by what Netflix does.
Curation therefore seeks to provide customers with the best possible products instead of the largest possible number of products.
In general, the best curation comes from small businesses, which have niche markets and limited physical space, requiring them to be selective in what they offer to customers. These types of businesses often provide suggestions to customers, instead of just being the place to go to get a specific brand. We can illustrate this concept with a small local bookstore: if you want to get the fourth book from a specific author, you may not have any luck, but if you want a suggestion for a good book according to your tastes, you will be pleasantly surprised.
One of the best American curation companies is Williams-Sonoma, a company that sells household equipment, especially for cooking. In his early days, founder Chuck Williams wanted to provide specialized tools to American leaders. In a classic curatorial style, he didn’t try to offer everything chefs would need to cook, just the items he thought were best for his customers.
Netflix goes further in this idea by first reducing the number of movies in its catalog into a selection of good movies, and then suggesting which ones customers might like.
What about Naked in all this?
Justin Kerzner, the creator of the concept, launched Naked Retail because he wanted to present the product he had created in a previous project, directly to the consumer, in a very traditional way: in store. But he found himself facing big problems when he tried to create a retail experience from scratch. Reflecting on his concept, he met Bruce, another contractor with the same problem. They decided to create a space for physical collaboration to share their overhead.
As their project progressed, they met with other creators of DTC brands and decided to focus their efforts on this new retail model.
The Naked Retail concept was born!
Naked offers a refreshing and innovative physical store retail concept that online brands can experiment with.
Instead of offering a fixed range of brands, this store offers continuous rotating lists. The Naked store we’re visiting now will look very different in a few months, because a brand never stays long. These limited-time appearances bring some urgency to the shopping experience. If you want to stay on top of the new cool brands, you better visit because you’ll never know how long the trendy brand will stay in store!
Another advantage of Naked: it’s cheaper than renting your own space for your store. According to the Agorafy Real Estate Platform, a 140 square metre space in Manhattan’s popular SoHo neighborhood, where many digital natives brands often set up their physical presence for the first time, can cost up to $25,000 a month. As Showfields and Naked already own real estate, in high-traffic areas, brands can save a lot of money.
Naked Retail Group co-founder Justin Kerzner said brands spend half of the money they would have spent on a traditional stand-alone retail experience. Naked’s fees encompass the entire retail experience and include all design, construction and personnel requirements. As a result, the costs of this curation experience are much more realistic for small DTC brands.
Why visit the store?
Because curation has a future!
The Covid pandemic has changed customer habits but also strengthened some relationships with brands or stores.The customer has his brands and trusts certain brands to offer products. Curation therefore has a future if the brand manages to offer products that correspond to its customers.
The future of retail will not be to have a wide variety of products, as has been the case in the past. The next generation of successful retailers will appeal to consumers with a thoughtful selection of products. They can organize an assortment of products for a specific type of customer, or focus their product selection on an aspect of the consumer lifestyle, across different product categories.
For the design of the place
The store is visited like a long walk between different universes. Because of Covid, Naked offers a separate entrance and exit and the store is transformed into a walk in the heart of the different universes offered in an almost immaculate space where products are showcased.
For the diversity of products
The main advantage of this store is to offer a wide range of themes. Whether in the field of beauty, fashion, food or lifestyle, Naked offers products that interest the customer regardless of his or her interest.
For product descriptions
Naked does not only share the description of the product proposed by its partners, we are also entitled to the explanation for which Naked proposes this or that product and it is a real plus.
To discover products from DTC brands
You can either stroll through the store to discover all these brands that you probably won’t discover anywhere else in the physical store or visit the Naked website to see the complete list.
But the store evolves all the time and offers a real discovery of a catalog of products in perpetual movement and an experience that is renewed regularly.