While at a conference this past week, I had an interesting discussion with a young lady who works for U.S. based retailer Forever 21. I asked her how they were responding to the incredible growth in competition from cross border commerce experts Inditex (The owners of retail chain Zara). I was pleasantly surprised by her response.
It seems Forever 21 has launched its own significant international growth effort. In both brick and mortar as well as via online channels, the company is pushing the boundaries of cross border commerce activities. She indicated some of their best growth was coming from countries where they did not have physical footprints. She didn’t feel they had anything to fear from Zara or any of the other global retailers that were pushing into the U.S. because Forever 21 was pushing back both domestically and internationally.
It was great to hear this story and response from a company I had always perceived as chained to the U.S. mall business model. As more global markets open themselves to the internet, U.S. based companies must open themselves to aggressive pursuit of these markets. Most of this challenge for customers will be via online channels and having the right strategy and tools to enable a cross border commerce strategy are the key to winning.