Will TheDrop get the drop on streetwear retailing rivals?

Discussion
Photos: instagram.com/thedrop
May 30, 2019

As streetwear continues to trend, one e-tailer appears to be emerging as a go-to spot for the brands that athletes, urbanites and “hype beasts” are buying.

TheDrop is now the largest streetwear website in the U.S., according to a press release. The site, which went live in 2017, offers more than 85,000 SKUs of streetwear and lifestyle-adjacent products like tech gadgets and skateboard gear. The company purports to be putting less tech-savvy brands in touch with their customer base at a faster rate than the brands are doing themselves. It has accomplished this by using data on customer affinity to present lesser-known up-and-coming brands a customer might be attracted to alongside established brands, such as Adidas and Nike.

TheDrop website also features a section promoting recently “dropped” products from leading brands and has content with brief backstories on the brands it is recommending.

While TheDrop offers a convenient way to discover and buy streetwear online, it is facing growing competition from brick-and-mortar stores.

Both Nordstrom and Barneys have entered into partnerships with brands and urban fashion magazines to bring curated collections, popups and store-within-a-store concepts to consumers offering streetwear selections on the luxury end of the spectrum.

In footwear, Foot Locker has begun to reinvent its brick-and-mortar stores to fit the streetwear customer lifestyle. The chain has begun experiencing a resurgence in popularity as it moves out of malls and into standalone locations, including its experience-oriented Power Store concept, which has launched in a few major cities in the U.S. and abroad.

TheDrop has some competition on the way online as well, from none other than Amazon.

The e-commerce juggernaut recently announced the launch of a streetwear-focused shopping experience called The Drop, according to Business Insider. The initiative appears unrelated to the website of the same name (as was also the case with Barneys’ thedrop@barneys event). Amazon’s The Drop offers made-on-demand designs available for only 30 hours. Amazon has not set a date for when The Drop will go live, but when it does, plans to make its fashions available exclusively through the Amazon website or mobile app.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: To what do you attribute the success of TheDrop and how can other streetwear-focused players differentiate and compete? Will TheDrop be able to stay ahead of competitors like Amazon, Barneys, Foot Locker and Nordstrom?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Far too many retailers have yet to realize just how critical differentiated assortments are to their success."
"Streetwear is on fire, and the key to TheDrop’s success and momentum is their ability to provide freshness and assortment that is laser-focused on their customers’ needs."

Join the Discussion!

3 Comments on "Will TheDrop get the drop on streetwear retailing rivals?"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

Streetwear is on fire, and the key to TheDrop’s success and momentum is their ability to provide freshness and assortment that is laser-focused on their customers’ needs and interests. TheDrop uniquely provides streetwear manufacturers with a hip digital platform to release new items, yet also enables smaller grassroots emerging brands an opportunity to connect with new customers. Data and customer insights are a significant part of TheDrop’s success.

TheDrop’s disruptive force has helped to ignite Amazon, Barneys, Foot Locker and Nordstrom interest in the streetwear market. There are clear advantages to having both a physical space to help connect, engage and connect with new and existing customers. The curated collections, popups, and store-within-a-store concepts could potentially impact TheDrop’s dominance.

Without a physical space, TheDrop is at a disadvantage and, as we have seen, digital native companies are opening brick-and-mortar locations at a record rate. A retail presence could be the next step in the company’s evolution as a brand.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

This article highlights a critically important but too-often-overlooked aspect of modern retailing success: In this era of excess choice, differentiation needs unprecedented attention in assortments. Drop culture in general highlights the role of assortment scarcity while the success of TheDrop highlights the incredibly important role of localized, personalized assortments. Far too many retailers have yet to realize just how critical differentiated assortments are to their success.

gordon arnold
Guest

Differentiation demands obvious variation from the established norm in a given market segment. Success is dependent on a profitable performance level. Longevity is discovering the means to stay in touch with market change and direction. Whether you are selling apparel, technology or any thing with fast-paced change, being in front is much more important than being discount priced. With the latest and greatest fan fabulous stuff suppliers seemingly refuse to address the need for user-required change in both product and badge. This is something that Steve Jobs knew well and was very successful in implementing by putting Apple second to the latest and greatest whatever.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Far too many retailers have yet to realize just how critical differentiated assortments are to their success."
"Streetwear is on fire, and the key to TheDrop’s success and momentum is their ability to provide freshness and assortment that is laser-focused on their customers’ needs."

Take Our Instant Poll

How likely is it that TheDrop will be thriving in five years’ time?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...