Innovation and Sustainability in the Retail of the Future

With two sites in Milan and Paris that are open year-round, SPAZIO38 showcases up-and-coming designers.

With two sites in Milan and Paris that are open year-round, SPAZIO38 showcases up-and-coming designers. The most significant independent boutiques and department stores worldwide carry Made in Italy products and well-known international brands.  A strategic platform called SPAZIO38 provides access to the world for designers with cutting-edge ideas. We offer partner brands sustainable support and solutions that enable them to succeed in a standardized fashion industry through a combination of consultancy and technology.

How has the retail industry been affected recently by digitization and technology like augmented reality and artificial intelligence? How has Spazio38 changed to accommodate this transition, and how is it utilizing these solutions to improve the shopping experience for customers?
Particularly in the period right after the Covid epidemic, artificial intelligence and augmented reality have helped the fashion industry build virtual showrooms, 3D lookbooks, and line-sheets as essential commercial measures. Additionally, fashion weeks are now totally online. Virtual reality and digitization are objectives that many clients are pursuing in the retail industry, but they are currently being underutilized, as in the case of virtual changing rooms. However, Spazio38 was a pioneer in the adoption of digital technologies for online sales and communication (both business-to-business and business-to-consumer), including video calls, email, social media, and broadcasting. There are still some situations where customers prefer to interact physically. In the end, our showroom welcomes all technological advancements, especially when it comes to creating advertising content.

What have been the main changes in consumer behavior, and how have you modified your marketing and sales plans to address these new requirements?
To give the customer the best service possible, we have combined physical and digital resources. Customers have demonstrated an openness to video calls, videos, links, and "talking" messages related to anything that might help them comprehend and practically "touch" the collections, even from a distance. This behavior has been characterized by a willingness to move away from a static business model and adapt to every need.

The retail industry is adopting sustainability more and more. How does Spazio38 motivate businesses to promote sustainability to their customers?
Sustainability is becoming increasingly popular in the retail sector. How does Spazio38 encourage companies to educate their clients about sustainability? The term "sustainability" has a fairly broad definition, therefore it can be unduly simplistic to use it to support a particular behavior when, when we examine closely, it frequently does not. Spazio38 encourages brands to adopt materials and production methods that are consistent with a managed supply chain, particularly Made in Italy or supporting regional craftsmanship, for these reasons. The companies offered recycled and certified cotton, Lycra, and nylon as well as low-CO2 manufacturing procedures. Given the investments and the constantly expanding businesses of platforms and entities like Wish, Shein, etc., it is unfortunately a utopia to see that the end user values and demands these capabilities when buying.

With the rise of e-commerce, traditional stores' function has changed. How is Spazio38 combining its online and physical offerings to meet the demands of multi-channel sales?
In the sense that physical stores increasingly need (and want) to provide a service that is fundamentally different from online, by strengthening the hospitality and shopping experience that have traditionally distinguished them, it is not quite correct to state that the function of physical stores has changed. So, while offline sales are focused on emotion and socializing, even within the showroom, where the quality of the touch-point is crucial, digital sales are solely business-oriented.

Italian and international fashion weeks. What are the primary distinctions? Is Milan still as alluring as it once was?
In actuality, Milan is more alluring right now than it ever was. Paris frequently designs schedules that conflict with the Milanese calendar, at least in terms of sales efforts, probably for this purpose. However, the French capital continues to be the go-to location, particularly for clients from abroad and high-end fashion. From an innovative standpoint, this is not a time of big alterations and adjustments. Paris and Milan continue to be centers of inspiration despite the rise of other Fashion Weeks in Europe (with London leading the way, followed by Copenhagen, Budapest, and Madrid).

What do you foresee for retail, and how is Spazio38 being ready to adapt to more changes in the market?
Spazio38, which has been in the business for 20 years and has always supported niche and up-and-coming companies, will keep pursuing its objectives of introducing fresh voices with something to say to Italy and the rest of the globe.
There are two very separate routes for the retail industry, making predictions difficult to make.

  1. Act as a retailer for the two industry behemoths (LVMH & Kering) in the luxury-fashion sector, resulting in standardization of both the product range and its layout. 
  2. Define the brand and products that the customer chooses, differentiating the offerings and giving them a distinctive and unique personality.

Of course, we support the second choice!