Should traditional men’s specialty stores add e-commerce?

by Steve Pruitt

Q: I just read that $8 billion in apparel sales will move from brick-and-mortars to online retailers over the next three years. Should I be worried about building an online component to my business?

A: If you have a strong brick and mortar business, my advice is to stick with with what you do best. The customers who are moving to online shopping are usually looking for discounts on well-known brands, not the kind specialty products offered by better retailers. Some of this shift may also be due to vendors offering more direct sales.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t sell online if it makes sense for your business and you have an obvious pathway to get there. But if it’s not the right fit, just make sure to focus on your online marketing while continuing to cater to your existing customer base.

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