A Look Into How Mono-Brand Stores Like Red Wing Shoes Are Taking Back the High Street

Traditional retail models are dying off, and physical stores need to adapt. Whilst it’s highly unlikely that the physical store will become extinct—at least in the foreseeable future—what’s really interesting is the change in the kind of store we see on our streets.

In this series about the Future of Retail, I’ll be exploring how technology and the changing expectations consumers have for their shopping experience are changing the face of retail, and how retailers are staying ahead in an ever-evolving industry.

The future of retail is a discussion that’s as old as the industry itself. In recent times, there’s been a lot of talk about how the customer experience will look two or five years from now.

Over the past decade, changes in our shopping habits and what we expect from our shopping experience have altered the way we shop as a whole. With retail goods becoming increasingly abundant in variety and easy to access, consumers are moving away from stores in search of a shopping experience that differs from the standard.

Despite the steadily encroaching competition of online sales year-on-year, consumers (and by consumers I mean people) still love to go shopping in physical, bricks-and-mortar stores.

Retail Revenue

The Commoditisation of Fashion

If you ask your friends what jeans they wear, they’ll tell you without hesitation their label of choice. However, ask them where they bought them and things will become somewhat blurrier. The point is that more often than not, the average consumer cares about what brand they wear but less so about where they bought them.

Consumers have a broader selection of goods available to them than ever before. But regardless of the abundance of choice when it comes to goods like jeans or boots, only a handful of brands dominate the market.

The result of this commoditisation is that consumers stop seeing the attributes that distinguish similar products—such as uniqueness or brand—and focus on the price. In short, when faced with a wall of nearly identical blue jeans, they will tend to buy the cheapest.


Felix Pecarski is a denim enthusiast from London who now calls Stockholm home. He gets particularly excited about early and mid 20th century cultural icons and the history that lies behind the world’s most popular garment.

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