This is an exciting day for my co-Founder Philippe Corrot and I. We founded Mirakl almost seven years ago because we saw that online marketplaces were going to disrupt commerce forever. We co-founded Splitgames, which was acquired by Fnac, and then went on to operate Fnac's marketplace successfully. We referred to it as their Miracle. We left because we realized we could build a Mirakl for many more companies.
Spoiler alert: This was the best commerce conference I’ve ever been to. The quality of content and overall experience was so high I’m sad to leave. So the award for BEST COMMERCE CONFERENCE GOES TO: Recode for Code Commerce.
It’s been a challenging few years for the retail industry, and apparel retailers have been among those hit the hardest. And while there may not be a single explanation for why this is, there are a few key drivers. For one, it’s no longer fashion brands that set the trends, rather customer expectations are now driven by influencers on Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms. Compound that with competition from emerging, more nimble retailers and eCommerce giants such as Amazon making a play in the space, and you have the perfect combination for friction and challenges.
The UK retail market has experienced a turbulent few years with major household names issuing bankruptcy warnings. Last week it was announced that U.K. retailer, Homebase, was set to close another 43 stores amidst struggling trading conditions. Chief Executive Damian McGloughlin was quoted as saying: “Launching a CVA has been a difficult decision and one we have not taken lightly. Homebase has been one of the most recognisable retail brands for almost 40 years, but the reality is we need to continue to take decisive action to address the under performance of the business.” It’s since been speculated that Amazon is primed to pick up Homebase real estate to facilitate growth in their on-demand delivery service.
As mentioned previously, many people at Mirakl have taken a pledge not to shop on Amazon for gifts this holiday season. Our goal is to support other retailers to help them stay in business while they fix their customer experience challenges. Yes, those retailers may have been slow to make the right investments, and aren’t moving quickly enough to fix things, but let’s literally buy them some time.