It is becoming increasingly evident for businesses to remain competitive, breaking out of their current comfort zone is imperative. For suppliers, this means looking beyond the targeted sales categories to seek potential elsewhere. In years past, a supplier of children’s clothes might have only sought out CSG’s Apparel Specialty Stores Plus database with the hopes of enticing Old Navy or Gap Kids. With so many stores overlapping nowadays, multiple industries also sell clothing. Dollar General in the Discount, Dollar & Specialty Stores database, or even Home Depot in Home Center Operators & Hardware database which sells everything from apparel to snack food items.

Retailers are taking a similar “out of the box” approach to getting new merchandise in their stores in hopes of remaining relevant to their customers. Consumers are spending over two hours a day on social media, and one in four users are following specific brands in hopes of making a purchase. Retail companies, like Macy’s, have caught onto the social media craze, and are now following trending brands online with the intent of offering shelf space to smaller brands to keep retail store product lines trendy and current.

Another approach retailers are using, that is moving away from mainstream marketing, is to use social media and in-store events to entice shoppers. Recently the apparel store Vineyard Vines created an in-store event where people could create their own football touchdown dance video to upload to Instagram which generated a trending hashtag for the company. Victoria’s Secret started a selfie campaign for shoppers to take a selfie in front of displays and receive a gift.

With 6,000 retail stores set to close in 2019, companies need to step outside the box if they hope to remain competitive. For retailers and suppliers alike, this means having a strong social media presence and looking for potential in different places.