“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

Lean, disruptive, agile and innovative is the catch cry of today’s and tomorrow’s retailer of choice, less encumbered by classical approaches more motivated by starting with the customer and technology derivative.

Format type, size, how it’s planned and resourced are not at the forefront of the strategic thinking. What matters is speed to market, technology, community and personalised product and mobility in approach.

This week we look at a retailer who clearly deserves the place in the retail disruptor’s category alongside the Sneaker Boys or Sumo Salads.

With the growth of social media and digital, customers now have a stronger voice than ever before. Consequently they are expecting retailers to listen and deliver exactly to their needs.

As a result ‘hyper-personalisation’ has become a key trend within many retail categories, however not all retailers deliver this offer as successfully and organically as fashion startup Mon Purse.

While only just over a year old, Mon Purse is disrupting the mass customisation space within fashion retail.

From personalised products, to personalised service, the brand is growing into a successful model of luxury omnichannel retail.

Like all great disruptors and innovators, Mon Purse came about from a question of ‘how can we do retail differently?’ From this evolved a three-channel strategy of online, instore and collaborations creating a seamless and engaging retail experience, utilising the power of e-commerce and store experience to produce bespoke and original products for customers around the world.

Having just launched  a concession in Myer, Melbourne just in time for the Christmas period, we visited the Mon Purse flagship in Sydney’s William Street in Paddington.

Mon Purse, Paddington

The location of the store itself instantly sets the perfect scene for buying a luxurious European leather good. William Street, renowned for being one of Sydney’s trendiest boutique streets is extremely on brand, and certainly plays into the store aesthetic.

The store itself is the epitome of what a strong store experience should be – it engages the senses. Visually, the colour palette and product displays are inviting and make you want to buy the whole collection, then comes the smell. On stepping into the store, you are transported to Europe as you smell the quality of the leathers sourced from Turkey. You notice the soft leather samples draping along one wall inviting you to touch and feel the unique quality of the product. The sofa area and large wooden table in store, invite you to sit and take time with this retail experience.

It’s personalised, it’s luxurious and the store experience is a gift in itself. Whether you’re seeking full customisation, semi customisation or personalisation; at home, in the Sydney store or in Myer; each interaction is complemented by strong customer service which has led to a strong and supportive Mon Purse community.

Meeting founders Lana Hopkins and Andrew Shub it became clear that the store and the building of this community has been vital in gaining customer insights to continue moving forward and building the overall brand strategy. The business’s agile approach and ability to listen means the brand constantly has its finger on the pulse and is not afraid to adapt as customer behaviour evolves. Already, while the brand originally launched offering fully customisable products, it was from the store feedback that they discovered customers wanted a ‘semi-customised’ option, and it would seem the future of the brand is also in the customer’s hands.

While many businesses claim to be customer centric, Lana and the team truly position the customer at the centre of each decision, from new products, to retail strategy. By encouraging consumers to become the active producers of their own products, opening up the supply chain, brands like Mon Purse have the opportunity to have major impact within their desired audiences, while lessening the risk factor.

We are excited to see what the future will look like for Mon Purse. No doubt its agile and customer-centric approach will ensure a bright and innovative future.

Vikki Weston is part of Retail Doctor Group’s Retail Insights team. Email vikki@retaildoctor.com.au to nominate which retailers you think are really disrupting the retail landscape!