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Long Tail is a strategy that allows retailers to realize significant profit out of selling low volumes of hard-to-find items to many customers.
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This concept was first introduced by Chris Anderson, editor in chief, in an October 2004 Wired magazine article, and was expanded in his book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.
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This became apparent with the advent of the Internet, with unlimited resources for supply and an enormous consumer base to draw upon. The Long Tail argues that it collectively is equal to, or greater than, the Head.
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Selling low volumes of hard-to-find products frequently is greater than selling a few highly popular products. Nike, Adidas and Supreme launches are examples of only distributing a finite set of skus across a very limited distribution channel. They do this in concert with also selling their hits to mass marketers and chains.
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Some retailers have been able to duplicate this strategy for themselves. They reinvent products, season after season, with limited quantities that sell to extinction.

This exclusivity of niche product, narrow selection succeeds on many levels:
  • Elevates your brand
  • Creates demand
  • Drives customer behavior to shop while available at full price 
  • Is a vehicle for not relying on always having the hits in your inventory
I would encourage you to investigate:
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This is not a call to arms for wide assortments. If anything, the narrow and deep cycle is still strong. But, over assortment and over supply kill the demand and violate the rules of scarcity. Products can start out in the Long Tail and move to the Head and become part of mainstream hits. ON shoes is an example falling into that category.

For Independent retailers, this can be a strong go-forward strategy.

For more information on the Long Tail strategy, check out Robin Lewis’s blog from the Robin Report.

https://www.therobinreport.com/the-long-tail-theory/



 
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