Retail

Michael C. Fina Abandoning Brick-And-Mortar For Life Online With Amazon

Ahh, spring — the season of love and eCommerce.

OK, the season of love for now, but if Amazon and Michael C. Fina have any say on the matter, eCommerce will be the tool of the future for expressing our love.

While not quite a household name, Michael C. Fina is famous for the bridal registeries he helped popularize and the Park Avenue store that the elites would flock to when it was time to get a special event off the ground.

Or such was the case in a previous era. In the last decade, foot traffic has eroded by as much as 80 percent and it was becoming clear that the time had come to add a new page to the playbook.

And that page has "Amazon" written at the top.

So Michael C. Fina will no longer be a brick-and-mortar destination in Manhattan or anywhere else and is instead teaming up with Amazon.com as part of a planned revamping of its wedding registry service.

“The initial reaction was definitely: ‘What are you, nuts? How do you have a retail business, and no store?’” said Steven Fina, 35, current president and the grandson of the retailer’s founder.

“But we’ve seen in our own lives that the way we shop has changed,” he said.

The inclusion of the iconic luxury retailer expands Amazon's offering set. Michael C. Fina’s wedding registry page on Amazon will offer access to brands like Baccarat, Buccellati and others who as of yet have been trepidatious about appearing on the Amazon platform.

The partnership also illustrates how deeply Amazon has woven itself into the business of independent merchant. Through its fulfillment services alone Amazon has seen over 50-percent growth in enrollment in the last year.

The exact layout of the Michael C. Fina site is still under some wraps — though it is known that it will feature gift ideas in 15 categories, including flatware, cookware, home décor and appliances.

Steven Fina told The New York Times that he expected shipping costs to fall by as much as 50 percent as a result of the partnership.

As for the structure of Michael C. Fina going forward, the marketing team, graphic design team and back office workers will likely remain on board, though job losses obviously occurred on the sales floor.

“This was the most difficult part of our decision,” said Fina, who runs the retailer with his two brothers and a cousin. “Some of these people have worked for us for decades; they’ve been so loyal.”

He added: “But we’re doing this because this is what our customers are telling us. We may be 80 years old, but we have to stay ahead of the curve.”

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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