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03/11/2021

The 10 most innovative companies in retail are…

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Wilson profile picture

From Depop, a GenZ-fave social shopping platform for secondhand clothing to athletic goods global powerhouse Nike, Fast Company’s annual ranking of “The Top 10 Most Innovative Retail Companies of 2021” shows how broad the retail landscape had become — and the changing nature of retail innovation.

This year’s ranking is dominated by non-traditional players, including an online site dedicated to home health care products (Carewell),  a made-to-order manufacturing system that brands and designers can easily plug into (Resonance) and a membership-based retailer that sells luxury bags, clothing, and home goods made in the same factories as high-end brands like Prada but at more accessible prices (Italic).

The list also reflects the growing popularity of secondhand clothing and accessories. In addition to Depop, Rebag made the cut. The brand sets itself apart in the resale market because it buys directly from sellers and owns all the goods featured on its site and its stores.

Here is a brief review of the Fast Company 2021 retail rankings. (Click here for the full story.)

1. SHOPIFY: For giving small shops a lifeline

2. NIKE: For reclaiming its relationship with its customers

3. RESONANCE: For simplifying on-demand manufacturing

4. DEPOP: For cultivating the next generation of sustainable designers

5. THE CITIZENRY: For recognizing artisans as designers

6. ULTA BEAUTY: For scaling virtual makeup try-ons when we needed it most

7. ITALIC: For democratizing luxury craftsmanship

8. CAREWELL: For building the Amazon of home health products

9. REBAG: For creating the Kelley Blue Book for luxury handbags

10. CANADA GOOSE: For reimagining storefronts as museums