STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 1 - 22
Brands that Thrived
Through Financial Crisis
and Retail Disruption
Indochino is among the still-thriving companies that launched just over a decade ago.
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the revolutionary device was available
with 4GB or 8GB of storage. It didn't
take long for touchscreens, apps and virtual qwerty keyboards to open new worlds
Everything was going great - until
suddenly it wasn't.
As hedge funds collapsed and the
housing market crashed, the "Great Recession" that was to last into 2009 took hold.
Despite all this, a number of fledgling retail
startups managed to take root amidst the
rubble. As it turns out, it was no ordinary
Consider the names Indochino, Smashburger and Journelle. Each launched in
2007, and despite significant changes in the
economy, in technology and in customer
expectations - or perhaps because of those
factors - the companies have thrived.
From the beginning, each has been
about satisfying consumer needs and desires in innovative ways - and staying true
to the course, no matter the environment.
"We're all true specialists," says Lyn
Lewis, CEO of Journelle, which focuses on
luxury lingerie. Indochino makes made-tomeasure suits. Smashburger is known for
fast-casual quality burgers.
Perhaps things would have been different if the companies were founded in
another era, even today. Regardless, lessons learned about focus, strategic use of
technology, evolving with the times and
continuing to connect with the customer
apply year after year.
Right price, right quality,
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he year was 2007. The mood?
That depends what month. At the
start, the nation's economic expansion had slowed somewhat. Inflation was
decreasing, and things felt somehow stronger. Businesses were upbeat; consumer
confidence was strong.
In a game-changing moment, the
iPhone was released in late June. With
a "giant" 3.5-inch widescreen display,
If ever there was a Goldilocks
at the table of the $100 billion-plus
burger industry, Smashburger would
be it. When the recession hit, the
Denver-based chain was already strategically placed. Inspired by fast-food leader
Chipotle Mexican Grill, the company originally aimed to take advantage of a growing
consumer demand for better quality food at
By the time disposable income began disappearing for many Americans,
Smashburger had 10 stores on the ground.
See "Thriving" on page 24
12/14/17 12:56 PM