19 fast-growing retail startups that are shaping the future of retail

May 06, 2022

The best retail startups worldwide

With each passing year, more and more consumers are shopping online because it’s convenient, it’s fast, and they can do it from their smartphones. Therefore, retail startups are more important today than ever before. 

What makes a retail startup the world’s best retail startup? Relevancy, identity, and success. Thousands of people are turning online to buy and gain information making it an essential part of growing trends in modern times. They’re around us, but how do we know which top-rated companies and startups count? 

We believe every business has a story to tell and we want to help you learn more about them and discover valuable insights from proven experts. They have been in the industry for many years, helping businesses with their internet marketing strategies. 

The retail industry is going through a massive shift driven by disruptive technologies and startup innovation. This article looks at the future of retail and presents the world’s best retail startups that you need to know about.

What are retail startups?

The retail sector is one of the most important for any economy, and it’s no surprise that so many entrepreneurs are trying to get in on the action.

Retail startups are disrupting the traditional retail industry by offering a new way of shopping. They are redefining the way we shop and offering new solutions to old problems.

These startups can be defined as companies that use technology to create a better customer experience for shoppers. They are using their technological resources to offer consumers something that was not previously available or was difficult to access before.

Best retail startups you need to know if you keep an eye on the retail industry

There are many retail startups out there and everyone wants to be the next great retail startup for obvious reasons. While brick-and-mortar retail has been on the decline, online e-commerce sales continue to rise. Below you’ll find the 19 most promising startups making the most noise.

Borobabi

Borobabi is one of the most remarkable retail startups this year. Their team is restyling the future of children’s fashion by encouraging lifetime returns on all of their products. That way they are empowering our community to reduce closet footprint and elevating ethical circular fashion.

This retail startup is making ethically and sustainably crafted clothing that is accessible to all parents. However, the biggest hero of their story is their circular model of responsible sources, upcycles, and recycles products to ensure the health of our planet for generations to come.

Showfields

Showfields is an innovative retail concept built to engage and inspire customers’ sense of discovery through revolving experiences with the brands and communities shaping our future. 

They partner with brands to create a stage for immersive storytelling and unlock new offline channels for growth.

Moreover, you can “Shop by mission” and you can choose what you stand for the most. From locally made and woman founded, to good for the earth and more, shopping from this retail startup means you will know you spend your money for the food cause.

1822 Denim

1822 Denim is one of the most promising retail startups nowadays, committed to three brand pillars: inclusivity, technology, and sustainability. The brand was built on the belief that denim should be fashion-forward, accessible, and backed by purpose. Therefore, their team decided to break the rules on traditional sizing methods and set out to create a new standard of inclusivity and sustainability. 

Consequently, as they say, and we totally agree, they’re more than just a brand – they’re a community of fashion pioneers, who believe it’s time to re-think the conversation around sizing, quality denim shouldn’t break the bank and every woman should have a pair of jeans that she feels confident in.

Censuum

Censuum offers a collaborative retail experience featuring responsible online brands. They’ve developed a subscription-based retail-as-a-service platform for online brands to scale sales and marketing through physical retail or co-retailing.

You can use the platform to test physical retail or extend your current reach, pilot new products, learn more about your customers, add new ones, collaborate with other amazing brands, share the cost, utilize each other’s strengths, and more.

Way

Way is an innovative retail startup that developed software that makes it easy for brands to elevate their experiences. They provide the technology, the automation, the ease, and the simplicity so you can define all the possibilities. 

Furthermore, you create the experience and curate the host to ensure brand consistency at every touchpoint, so that you’re not just living up to your brand, but building it. Simply put, Way is a simple, scalable software platform to create, curate, and launch brand experiences and events in minutes.

Bulletin

Bulletin is a premium wholesale marketplace and small business community where retailers discover, meet, and shop the best brands on the planet. This retail startup makes it easier than ever to discover extraordinary products, connect with best-in-class brands, and manage an entire wholesale business.

The founders of Bulletin, as former retailers, wanted to build a wholesale solution that helps stores with cash flow, and a marketplace experience that as they say: “helps them find the very best brands – the ones customers will notice, fall in love with, and keep coming back for”. Even though we would say this is a revolutionary retail startup, their team says this is not a revolution, it’s just what all retailers and brands deserve.

Camp

Camp is another impressive retail startup that is known for its totally unique shop/play hybrid experience in its physical locations across the United States. Inside CAMP stores are rotating themed experiences and every surface is a seamless blend of play and product.

With expertly curated product collections, rounds-ups of top toys, tips on forward-looking play trends, and a wealth of engaging activities to enjoy together, there’s no doubt why Camp is becoming a favorite place for some fun and unique family time.

Conex

Conex is a company dedicated to the development of revolutionary solutions for the high-end cosmetics market. This retail startup has a mission to provide clients with a new way of connecting with their customers in the retail environment. 

What got them the place in the list of the best retail startups is their new cosmetics display solutions that are designed to be a turnkey system containing a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence system. With such a solution, Conex is making it easy for retailers to interact with customers in a simple way while delivering the most accurate and personalized information.

Burrow

Burrow is not an ordinary furniture company. The team of Burrow, frustrated by compromises between quality, affordability, and convenience, now is taking a new approach to furniture. More specifically, they focus on three fundamental changes: a modular platform, a focus on function and fashion, and an investment in community and experience.

Their studio anchors its practice in two of the most sought-after design movements in history: American Mid-Century Modernism and contemporary Scandinavian style. Furthermore, because style is nothing without substance, from the modular assembly to built-in chargers, to multipurpose trays, this retail startup is always looking to add delightful, functional features.

Standard

Standard is a startup that is transforming the retail industry for good. They’ve developed the first checkout-free solution that works in any existing store, and moreover, the Standard platform allows customers to walk in, take what they need, and walk out. This means no more waiting in line or stopping to scan or pay. 

The company’s machine vision and AI-powered solution is the only one that can be quickly and easily installed in retailers’ existing stores, representing a giant leap forward for retail tech. It also enables retailers to rapidly deliver an amazing new shopping experience to customers, so they can easily create a better buyer-supplier relationship and get more loyal customers.

Sunbit

Sunbit is a buy now, pay later technology made for everyday needs that eases the stress of buying everyday needs by offering fair, fast, and transparent payment options to people from all walks of life. 

This technology is developed and used to reduce the stress from daily purchases. That way is helping shoppers realize the full potential of their buying power while providing local businesses with tools to sell easier. The team of Sunbit has experts in machine learning, software, retail, and financial services, therefore, we believe that they are one of the most promising retail startups you need to keep an eye on this year.

Grove Collaborative

Grove Collaborative is born on the belief that what people bring into their homes contributes to that homey, cozy feel. Prompted to try to make that idea a reality, the founders of this retail startup are transforming household products into a force for good. 

Because of their vision of the world with only sustainable choices, every order you make at Grove Collaborative is a plastic neutral order. Therefore, by making and selling products that go easy on the Earth, prioritizing sustainable packaging materials, and carbon offsetting every shipment that goes out the door, these retail company is proving that businesses can be a force of good.

Away

Away is a modern lifestyle brand that is known for creating thoughtful products with the intent to transform travel. Their luggage is designed by travelers, for travelers, therefore you can be sure they have thoughtful and purposeful products. 

This is one of the fastest-growing retail startups and it’s already expanding into new travel product categories including apparel, wellness, and lifestyle accessories. Furthermore, they are investing in the growth of physical retail in the US and abroad–with the plan to open 50 new stores in the next few years.

Gymshark

Started in a garage in Birmingham, the UK with nothing but a sewing machine, a screen printer, and ambitions Gymshark is now one of the best retail startups in the world. This sporting good manufacturing creates clothes that help everyone become their personal best and the content you’ll find inspiration in.

Gymshark core values are to be accessible to everybody, and conscious of the world we live in, which means caring for those around us and being proactive to create positive change. Moreover, they are not forgetting the garage mentality that made them ambitious, agile, and disruptive, hence their improvement and growth don’t end here, since they are willing to grow without limits.

iRetailCheck

iRetailCheck uses AI video analytics to monitor staffed and self-checkouts, queues, and store exit in retail stores. This retail startup developed a staffed checkout solution, CaddyCheck, which automatically monitors shopping carts passing through the checkout for items left in or under the cart. 

This retail company brings together highly experienced professionals in the areas of retail loss prevention solutions, Machine Learning AI video, Deep Learning, and image content analysis, and that way is creating a revolutionary and innovative approach to automated visual problem-solving.

Stockwell

Stockwell is another promising retail startup that is leveraging technology to build and operates smart stores. They develop solutions that bring the convenience of modern retail to everywhere people live, work, and play. 

With Stockwell, anyone can open the store, pay, and request new items through their app on a smartphone. This smart store is equipped for anything–from lunch on the go to laundry-day supplies and the smart tech inside learn what’s selling and what’s not so they won’t just give the people what they want, but give them what they need.

Skims

Skims is a solutions-oriented brand that is dedicated to creating the next generation of underwear, loungewear, and shapewear. By providing solutions to every type of body, this retail startup is setting new standards for what should a clothing brand stand for. 

From underwear that stretches to twice its size to technically constructed shapewear that enhances your curves, their goal is to consistently innovate on the past and advance the industry for the future.

Feather

Feather is a retail startup with a simple concept to create furniture that fits the way we live today. Being aware that tastes evolve, city renters move on average every 1-2 years, living arrangements change, budgets fluctuate, and many don’t want to commit to or can’t afford quality furniture so they end up resorting to cheaper alternatives that aren’t built to last, Feather came up with a more sustainable pattern.

They create affordable, modern, smart, stylish, well-made, and sustainable furniture and their responsible approach to furniture is grounded in rental, reuse, and refurbishment. Hence, this retail startup is offering a more circular approach and helping a new generation of renters create homes they love even when life is in motion.

Neighborhood Goods

Neighborhood Goods developed a platform that’s offering retail stores as a service for businesses. This rising retail startup provides a turnkey solution to open a brick-and-mortar storefront featuring social spaces, events, food, and live speakers. 

The company offers a new retail concept that connects brands and shoppers through community platforms. Moreover, the company’s stores offer clothes, beauty, bags, and wellness products for both men and women.

What all these retail startups have in common

Retail startups have a unique set of challenges that they must overcome, such as finding the right location, managing inventory, and building an online presence. While some retail startups are successful, others close their doors after just a few months.

However, what all successful retail startups have in common is both, a great idea, and the ability to execute it. And, there are many ways to do this. However, the most important thing is to make sure that you’re not just creating something that sounds good on paper. Even if your idea is good, if you don’t have the ability to execute it, then it won’t work out well in the end no matter what you do.

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