It’s known for simple-yet-statement-making, subtly nautical cuffs and rope bracelets, which founder Michael Saiger began making for and selling to men and, later, to women. With distinctive, wearable designs and an accessible price point, the brand is doing well, even with wholesale; current stockists include Barneys, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Mr. Porter, Shopbop and more. It also operates two permanent brick-and-mortar stores: one on Crosby Street in New York City and one on the similarly cool-and-relevant Abbott Kinney Blvd in Los Angeles. But Saiger is aware of how fickle retail is lately, and when it comes to his expansion strategy, he has something different in mind: selling jewelry out of airstreams and Piaggio trucks near beaches, bars, hotels, festivals and, soon, even train stations and airports. Its summer tour is already underway. […]
Saiger has amassed some important car connections and bought and refurbished four more mobile units — and this expanded fleet will be on tour all summer long.
These shopping vehicles help with branding:
“I want to be more direct-to-consumer and it’s more discovery too,” explains Saiger. “A lot of people learn about our brand that don’t know about us yet. We are niche and whatnot. Not only is it great from a sales perspective, it’s great from a branding perspective and discovery perspective.”
Of course, being flexible with the store location helps a great deal, as it decreases risk:
For one, the overhead is low — Saiger gets good deals thanks to the aforementioned connections. Second, if they pick a spot that isn’t doing well, they can fairly easily close up and move elsewhere. And then there’s the obvious: The vehicles are very ‘grammable. That said, Saiger explains that logistics can be very tricky. “It is a pain in the ass with logistics for it, especially now we’re going to have six vehicles. [Saiger has just purchased another Piaggio from Italy.] Two of them are pulled by cars, but the other ones have to be bedded around; they are operational but not everyone can drive them.” Getting the right insurance and making sure everything is legally compliant is also difficult and time-consuming for Saiger’s team and his lawyers. But for Saiger, it’s all worth it. “Not only is it fun, it’s great because we’re extremely successful.”
So successful, that at the moment, he forsees this and this alone making up Miansai’s retail growth strategy for the foreseeable future.
This is nothing revelatory or big. But, again, ‚mobile‘ concepts like this combined with smartphones and apps, and, say, a centralised network coordination will be far more closer than today’s multichannel nonsense to the future of brick-and-mortar / ‚offline‘ retail. You know, the ever-shrinking part of retail that you participate in outside your home.
More on this topic:
* This Chinese Startup‘s Stores Are Like a Mashup of Amazon Go and the Treasure Truck
* Amazon’s Most Promising ‘Stealth’ Project, the Treasure Truck, Celebrates 1st Birthday
* Amazon’s Treasure Truck Shows How ‘Location Based’ And Mobile Can Be Combined