XRC Demoday Presentations
January 14, 2016
The rug industry is hoping to enter the 20th century, so why does Rug News andDesign look at companies seeking to dominate the 21st century? Simply because the trends that drive fashion in the 21st century will also drive home fashions at the same time. There is a reason why the first color you show a female shopper is the color of the clothes she is currently wearing.
These companies have a laser focus. To succeed they have to package themselves in 10 weeks with a product, start-up sales, close on a strategic partner, and not in the least, create a brand.
Many of the presenters chose to go direct to consumer. I think a couple will more likely succeed by distributing with people and levels of distribution. The premise that you can be price competitive by eliminating levels of distribution presumes that all of your competition does not come to the same conclusion.
We did go to demo night. We did form opinions. We are probably wrong. We will round out our coverage on the other participants at a later date. And we will continue this kind of coverage. Within the rug industry, we have three (maybe six) major technological changes to deal with in the next few months.
GLEEM appears to be the hands down winner, but at heart it is a consignment store. They find, clean, vet, insure and promote jewelry—not just stones. Their average ticket is about $3,500. We think they will create a cadre of competitors. Trust is the core competency. Could be people intensive.
FIND MINE is brilliant because it provides algorithms to suggest additional purchases to items bought online to either the buyer or the store sales associate. They claim a 40% sales boost in their test prototype. Substitutes for sales associates who can’t or don’t accessorize the selected item. Particularly noticed that it did not suggest an alternative color for the selected purchase, but a coordinating color. Why would anyone (nameless) want to undo a selection already made. Great model.
RFM designs, makes, and I imagine will source clothing for men six feet tall and over. They really kick in at 6’3” and over—especially for an athletic build. I think that their existing data base of body shapes for the extra tall is a key corporate asset. I also think that they will quickly build brand loyalty amongst tall athletes, who lack time to go hunt down something that fits their unique build. I wouldn’t mind building my brand on all the tall athletes in professional athletics.
URBACRAFT is already global in the way it integrates with other global intelligent play products for children. Their success will come from integrating everyone else as part of their play package. Also has an online portal where designers can share implementations across platforms. Get in line. They will be oversold for a while.