Research into the future of retail and how empty spaces fit into the picture

My name is Charlie and I'm a social research student at UTS. I'm working on the Empty Spaces project with the Shopfront team. Specifically I'll be researching international retail trends in America and Japan, national trends in Australia, the future of retail trade and how empty spaces will be able to fit in to the evolving structure of retail and its trends.

I'll be blogging regularly about my progress - and if anyone has any leads or ideas of who I should talk to, I'd be very pleased to hear from you.

My email is


Charlie Lehmann


The Demand for Emerging Fashion: Huffington Post article

Lisa Andersen's picture

From the article by Heba el Habashy and Charles LaCalle, Huffington Post, 23 August, 2010

...AdWeek conducted a study in 2009 and found that as the economy worsened, about 77% of these customers came to realize that luxury brands were less important. The study also proved that, the rise of discount shopping for the masses through sites like Gilt Group and Haute Look has been disastrous to consumer's mentality on luxury goods.

As major luxury goods companies realize this change, sale sites will likely receive blowback from the brands. Already, Cartier is suing Haute Look for selling used Cartier products. Luxury houses may have begun to realize that the once innocuous practice of holding sample sales and flash sales can now be harmful to their brand. In the past, sample sales were held in empty spaces downtown and the customers were those who worked in fashion and could not afford full retail prices. As a result, these sales did not affect the brand's target customers. This is no longer the case as most of the shoppers on the most famous sale site, Gilt Groupe, are high-income females...

A director at Harrod's recently told WWD, "The whole trend we are seeing - from fashion through to beauty - is anti-mass, anti-faux, anti-bling. What customers are looking for is heritage, provenance - and embellishment." Since consumers are increasingly aware of luxury goods companies' mass production methods and deceiving advertising campaigns, they are turning to emerging designers for products that are produced on a smaller scale - products that tell a story.

Read the full article...