As Americans, we are accustomed to taking the world by storm – a consumerist, more-is-more storm, that is. Conditionally, it is natural for us to hear about American-born brands crossing the Atlantic and saturating the international market. American companies are well loved, and not just by its citizens either – in a recent study conducted by social media analysis firm NetBase, it was revealed that American companies dominated the top two spots in most loved brands by Europeans.
Now it’s the global market’s turn to make their branding mark on the US. With the explosion of e-commerce sales coagulating markets formerly divided by continents, there are several retailers looking to establish physical roots on American soil.
In true harmonious market fashion, the opportunity for exciting international presence has opened its doors while others close on American ones. Roughly 7,000 U.S. store locations rung in their final sales in 2017, with analysts predicting another 3,600 closures in 2018.
Many of these locations were in shopping centers in urban cities, which leaves space in popular malls such as Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island, New York. Owned by mall giant Simon Property Group, which manages 22 international and 206 U.S. centers, Roosevelt recently launched a pop-up retail exhibit called “The Edit”. Paradoxically, it’s a permanent space for temporary brands and features, which has allowed international brands to test the US waters before committing to full-fledged locations.
This concept falls in line with tentative ideas that other retailers have been using as well. For example, Nordstrom launched Pop-In, a floor space that allows brands the department store doesn’t traditionally stock to be available to a wider consumer base.
The Edit is a way for international e-commerce and social media super brands to connect with consumers on a tangible level. International retailers are already skeptical of the fickle U.S. retail market, and The Edit gives them a platform to test without the financial and strategic commitment of a standalone store.
Swedish brand L:A Bruket is one of the eight international brands that is currently featured in The Edit. The handcrafted home accessory and bath product line has received considerable attention since establishing a standalone space and is using the feedback to prepare a strategy to further infiltrate the U.S. market.
Another example of a European company taking a global brand stand is Parfois, a Portuguese fashion and accessories line with a cult following. The Edit is the brand’s first foray onto American shores, and has allowed its previous demure-but-devoted line of fans to expand with a greater, commercial consumer base as well.
The Edit hopes to continue to feature more international brands, but also to incorporate lesser-known American lines taking on unique market niches.
“We created this idea to bring new, exciting brands to the customers,” says Simon’s national director of business development Zachary Beloff. “This concept was created to for us to bring brands that the customers might be familiar with online…in addition to the retail, it’s just creating this experience you might not see in a mall or shopping center.”