As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about who to watch next year.
These retailers should be on your radar in 2016.
Some brands are coming back from rough years and are promising turnarounds.
Others have demonstrated explosive growth and will likely continue to thrive in the new year.
And some of these brands are popular with teens — the next generation of consumers.
Keep an eye out for what these brands do next year.
Nike has continued to grow explosively. There’s no stopping this brand — it’s the biggest apparel retailer in the US, and it’s beloved by young people.
The brand continues to innovate and explore new depths of technologically enhanced apparel, proving that it’s crucial to always have an eye on the brand to see what it has up its thumbholed-sleeves.
This fall, Abercrombie was slated to be the comeback story of 2015. With a much more appealing selection — and a hat tip from the fashionable blog The Man Repeller — the company seemed to be on the right track. Comparable sales for the retailer’s namesake store are still down, but the decline has been slowing down and beating analysts’ expectations — all of which are promising for the brand. Perhaps 2016 will be the year it fully executes a turnaround.
Gap has been in dire straits for most of this year, between shuttering stores and sad earnings reports. However, on an earnings conference call this August, CEO Art Peck said we’ll see evidence of a turnaround come spring 2016 — so we should keep our eyes peeled.
J. Crew is another brand that has been on the down-and-out this year. But in the middle of this year, a major corporate shakeup pulled Madewell’s Somsack Sikhounmuong over to J. Crew. We’ll see his big debut at Fashion Week in February 2016.
Still, J. Crew’s spring/summer 2016 show demonstrated promise and improvement. This fall, the company already proved that it was getting back to its roots with quality basics.
Adore Me has been demonstrating exponential growth. The company, which was named Inc.’s No. 2 retail company and No. 14 overall company on its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, is growing at a lightning-fast pace. Inc. notes that the company has grown 15,606%. This is right on track with what Adore Me’s director of business and brand development, Sharon Klapka, told Business Insider in this summer — that its goal is to “slay Victoria’s Secret.”
Sweaty Betty — Lululemon’s more expensive, London-based competitor — is expanding rapidly and threatening Lululemon’s turf.
The company now has expanded its UK empire to the US — and only in upscale, trendy neighborhoods. Sweaty Betty currently has units in Greenwich, Connecticut; Manhattan’s trendy Soho neighborhood, and Manhattan’s fitness-obsessed Flatiron neighborhood.
Bloomingdale’s in New York City and Short Hills also sell Sweaty Betty products. A store recently opened up in Los Angeles, and more are opening up in California.
Earlier this year, Racked asked if Everlane was “the new J. Crew.”
Everlane has been around for a few years, but the brand has been gaining more traction as radical transparency — one of the brand’s core tenets — has been gaining popularity among consumers. Its direct-to-consumer model helps keep prices competitive.
When Business Insider met with the company’s filterless CEO, Erin Yogasundram, this fall, she said she was meeting with investors to potentially fund her already-successful internet retailer.
The company has been subject to ample criticism, but its target demographic — teens who speak the language of the internet — love it, and Yogasundram’s commitment to being herself is laudable.
Topshop has already taken the UK by storm, and it has several outposts in fashionable cities in the US.
But in April 2016, Topshop will debut its athleisure partnership with Beyoncé, and nothing brings people together like Beyoncé.
Primark wins the limbo contest of “how low can you go” in fast fashion. The company’s first US location debuted this year, and it has plans for expansion. Will Primark dethrone Forever 21 in 2016?
Under Armour had an explosive year — it had its first billion-dollar quarter this fall. The company prides itself on its underdog ethos, but it might not be an underdog for much longer. The brand is growing at a rapid pace and is quickly catching up to Nike.
Timberland is on track to nearly double its revenue by 2019, which means we’ll likely be seeing some growth in 2016. Timberland’s president, Stewart Whitney, told Business Insider in an interview that the brand has seen tremendous growth by zeroing in on a specific customer — someone he calls the “outdoor lifestyler.”
Yes — it’s coming back from the dead. This summer, news broke that the retailer that was popular among tween girls in the ’90s would return come 2016. The women who grew up wearing the glittery, butterfly-adorned apparel are too old for the clothes now, so will nostalgia draw them back? Will their kids shop there? We’ll have to see.
C. Wonder will make its grand return on QVC come 2016. The brand had announced it was closing its doors earlier this year. But Xcel brands acquired it this year, and now the easy-on-the-eyes Brad Gorseki will serve as the company’s new creative director.
Adidas has been working to improve its sales after falling behind Under Armour. It certainly helps to have Kanye West on board with his extremely popular Yeezy Boosts. The company has been making an effort to push its US sales to catch up to its competitors.
Brandy Melville has continued to gain popularity with young people. Its models are Instagram stars. The brand, however, has experienced ample controversy for its “one size fits most” sizing policy — that size isn’t “most,” it’s “thin.”
Aerie’s comparable sales have been consistently positive, and in its most recent quarter, comparable sales were up 21%. This is largely attributable the brand’s noble campaign, Aerie Real, which forgoes Photoshop.
“We are seeing more and more opportunity to strengthen the emotional connection with today’s young woman. Our customers believe in what we stand for. Aerie Real and untouched models are the core to our brand DNA,” brand President Jennifer Foyle said on a recent earnings call.