How retailers can appeal to minimalists

May 15, 2019By Behind the Shelf Blog, Future of Retail


by Jen Johnston, CHHC,  senior marketing services account manager,

Minimalism — the intentional act of de-owning possessions in order to achieve happiness — has been receiving a lot of press lately. What began as the Voluntary Simplicity movement in the 1980s, exploded in the 2010’s due to the popularity of blogs like The Minimalists, Becoming Minimalist, and Zen Habits.

Since the concept of minimalism is about owning less, it is often seen as being in conflict with the retail industry. However, the goal of minimalism is not to stop spending money, it is about stopping the mindless spending of money and begin spending intentionally on useful products of quality and of those that truly “spark joy.” Another less is morename for this is conscious consumerism.

Here are two ways retailers can appeal to minimalists:

1. Make capsule wardrobes easy. Imagine a retailer helping a minimalist plan their next Project 333. (That’s a minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for three months.) Engage with that shopper four times a year (for the four seasons) and that is potentially 132 items of clothing or accessories they could sell to one individual.

2. Apply the “capsule wardrobe” concept to other items —

  • capsule kitchenware
  • capsule medicine chest
  • capsule meals
  • capsule baby gear

How can you help your shoppers own the “ideal” mix of what you sell based on their interests?