Community-Based Retail Helping Designers and Shoppers

London-based fashion concept store 50m is reworking the traditional retail model to help small, independent labels navigate the high rents and operating costs required to launch successful businesses.

Designers can rent their own space within the store, deciding what and how much to sell as their brands grow and evolve. Showcasing designers also receive mentoring via an internal program that offers expert business advice.

This community space is also designed to bring together shoppers and designers: allowing them to interact at the varied events program – featuring everything from up-cycling workshops, to speed dating – and even co-create items.

Other retail businesses are also exploring community models, both as a way to create more supportive spaces for emerging designers, and to revolutionize the customer experience by presenting an interactive and ever-evolving retail space.

UK-based clothing and homeware brand Toast champions the wider craft community with their New Makers program. Each year five makers are supported with business and marketing advice and given a platform in-store to sell their pieces, with all profits returned to them. At their ‘Toast Curates’ events, shoppers can get to know other makers through workshops on collaging, wood carving, or even the art of repairing clothes.

This new retail trend cleverly taps into wider consumer demand for IRL experiences and a return to community and locality as an alternative to faceless corporate brands and a globalized mass-market.

Contributed By: Lukas Quittan, Insight & Strategy, Integer Denver

Image Source: Unsplash