Apparel: The Ecommerce Tipping Point?

The New York Times: “If there are tipping points in retail — moments when shopping behavior swings decisively in one direction — there’s a strong case to be made that apparel is reaching one now, with broad implications for jobs, malls and shopping districts. Those moments often occur around the time that online shopping reaches about 20 percent of total national retail spending in a category, the research firm L2 has concluded after studying the evolution of e-commerce. Online clothing and accessory shopping’s share of retail hit 21 percent last year, according to estimates by Cowen and Company, a stock research firm.”

“Apparel has been something of an e-commerce laggard. In years gone by, buying clothing over the internet was only for the fearless, with most shoppers unwilling to take the risk that a dress or a pair of shoes would fit poorly or look terrible on them … Amazon’s solution was to improve clothing selection, pour money into photography to give internet shoppers a better representation of garments and offer free returns on most apparel so customers could order untroubled by the thought of sending items back.”

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