How about vacancies on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles – remember Melrose Place? That TV show put this grunge culture, hip vibe avenue on the global map in the 90’s. The famous funky strip between Highland and Fairfax is going through a big change. The economy made its negative impact on many independent retailers. That crop of one-of-a-kind indie stores are few and far between. Melrose Avenue is due for a resurgence, but when?
In speaking with the shopkeeper Jina at Timeless Boutique on Melrose, who says their store has been in business for 10 years, the economy shifted their business to carry less emerging designer collections. Today, though, they look to carry more along with their own designs. Jina’s aunt is the designer for Timeless.
She represents a trend of vertical retail businesses that we continue to see more of from independent retailers. If you have the design talent and resources, it may be more cost effective along with brand control to produce proprietary goods, keeping it in house and retailing than buying from the market.
There is room for both procurement and proprietary retail operations. Emerging designers should assess their skills, talent, and resources to determine which lane they want to be in – wholesale or retail?