StyleDemocracy Pivots and Goes Digital with Online Warehouse Sales

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North America’s leading provider of outsourced warehouse and pop-up sale events, StyleDemocracy, is going digital in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a bold move that could signal the future of warehouse sales as many seek to avoid crowds for the time being.

Toronto-based StyleDemocracy is known for its work with dozens of the world’s most coveted fashion brands, helping them to utilize excess inventory by running physical warehouse and sample sales events on their behalf. Over the years, StyleDemocracy has executed close to 500 events across North America for brands such as Nike, Adidas, Nordstrom, Levis, Lacoste, Ted Baker, Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, Frank and Oak, and more.

And now, as COVID-19 has obliterated all opportunities to host physical events for the time being, StyleDemocracy has pivoted its business model to create a digital platform; a place to hold virtual warehouse sales similar to the physical ones SD has become famous for.

“We always discussed how a digital platform for online warehouse sales was something we wanted to implement at StyleDemocracy at some point. Adding this vertical to our service offering for brands, and product offering for customers, has the potential to create a tremendous amount of value to the company as it’s more scalable than physical events. It was always a back-burner type of idea as our event business has been so strong and we didn’t want to take our foot off the gas.” Like the majority of the world, though, out of nowhere our brake pedal was slammed hard by a global pandemic,” said Oliver Berg, StyleDemocracy’s Vice President.

IMAGE: STYLEDEMOCRACY

StyleDemocracy’s new platform, shop.styledemocracy.com, will be run on Shopify Plus and officially launched on June 15th with an Online Warehouse Sale for Lacoste, Canada.

OLIVER BERG

To follow this, StyleDemocracy has consecutive events lined up for the coming weeks, some of which include collaborations with John Varvatos, Valentino, Off-White, and Frank and Oak. The company is also in talks with an array of brands interested in becoming involved in the initiative and utilizing the platform.

“It’s really interesting when you think about how COVID-19 has afforded us the time to be able to completely re-tool our business, which is what we have been doing for the last two or so months. We’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes strategizing our eCommerce approach, speaking with dozens of brands, hiring new people with some impressive eCommerce experience in the industry, and setting up marketing partnerships, in what could be a much bigger business than we had previously,” said Berg.

IMAGE: STYLEDEMOCRACY

The site provides brands with a risk-free, zero-cost platform to showcase products. Not to mention the exposure to SD’s extensive database of customers that the company has accumulated over the years from the physical business. The company has also set up marketing partnerships with companies such as American Express, PayPal, CAA, and SPC to further amplify it’s reach.

Established in 1999, StyleDemocracy — formally Paradigm Retail Group — had been having a successful run. February 2020 saw two hugely successful warehouse sales for popular brand OVO, one in Toronto and one in Vancouver. The company’s line up for the spring season was gaining momentum prior to COVID-19 with large events organized and ready to go. “The first couple of weeks of the pandemic for us was a waiting game, as everyone was cautiously optimistic we could go back to business in a month or two, but as time went on we realized this was not the case,” said Berg.

StyleDemocracy’s President and CEO, Michael Berg, grew up working in a family owned luxury retail business started by his great grandfather, Ira Berg. When he and his father, Russell, closed the business with a liquidation sale in 1996, Michael saw first-hand how customers react when faced with a good deal. Through his connections to major brands he was able to provide this service to brands and the company had instant success. Fast forward to 2020 and StyleDemocracy continues to thrive, continuing to run huge warehouse events for global brands, alongside a digital media and advertising business that was developed through the company’s massive database of shoppers. Michael’s son, Oliver Berg, is now Vice President of the company.

“We’re also really lucky that our core service hasn’t changed in helping brands with unsold product, which there is plenty of right now and which brands are looking for additional channels to move.”

Article Author

Jessica Finch
Jessica Finch
Jessica Finch is a writer and editor based in Toronto. She holds a BA in English and Psychology and is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Publishing program. She has extensive managerial experience in the food service industry, and is interested in exploring innovations within this sector and other retail environments.

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