You’ve spent the entire day working hard or hardly working — either way, you’ve been out of the house since sun-up and need a little TLC, ASAP. Stepping into your apartment, a few options present themselves to you: a tall glass of merlot calling your name from the kitchen, a stash of bath bombs just waiting to disperse in a warm tub. But all you care about right now is tearing your bra TF off. If this scenario sounds familiar, I’m right there with you, girl, and, apparently, so are most women. Taking your bra off after a long day is just so damn liberating; it’s a similar feeling to handing in your last assignment before the weekend. Unsnapping the hooks, releasing your breasts from their supportive, yet kind of restrictive net of lace — it’s just a sensation unlike any other, and I have no doubt every female knows exactly what I’m talking about.
After pivoting from a subscription model to a membership model last November, MeUndies is tapping customers’ insights to expand offline and beyond underwear.
In exchange for signing up for monthly order replenishments, MeUndies members pay a cheaper price for their underwear (for women, $14 a pair as opposed to $16), get first access to new products, also at a discount, as well as exclusive prints, which are released on a monthly basis. By providing a regular stream of data around conversion and return rates, as well as feedback, members have influenced the brand’s push to categories like bras and loungewear, and dictated limited-run prints, like a St. Patrick’s Day edition.
In December 2011, Heidi Zak was shopping for a bra to go with her dress for the holiday party at Google, where she worked at the time. She wound up at Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie retailer that has long dominated the $12 billion industry, and bought an ill-fitting bra. “I took the pink bag and shoved it in my black backpack because I was embarrassed to carry it,” recalls Zak, a diminutive five-foot-four woman who is now 39.
Research firm JLL released its latest report detailing the growth of the “clicks-to-bricks” retail segment, revealing that many online-only retailers are expanding by adding numerous physical locations “off the back of their e-commerce success.” Several major online retailers are looking to open up 850 physical stores in the next five years, according to the firm.
For some time now, the global real estate services company JLL has been tracking online retailers cautiously tiptoeing into physical retail, but the pussyfootin’ days appear over for growth-hungry e-coms. A JLL study of more than 100 digital retailers released this week found national expansion strategies to be commonplace. We made a call to JLL research director James Cook to learn more about these click-to-brickers with some 850 stores in the pipeline.
“We’re moving fast, we’re innovating, we’re having fun.” The words of a startup retail entrepreneur, right? Well, no, it’s actually an exec from Walmart – Marc Lore (President and CEO of Walmart eCommerce, U.S.).
“All (our stores) are doing way beyond expectations…we can have a really large brick-and-mortar experience.” That’s got to be a legacy retailer, correct? Wrong again. It’s Philip Krim, co-founder and CEO of online mattress retailer, Casper.
Adore Me launched in 2012 as a $39.95-per-month subscription service for discounted panty-and-bra sets with the goal of making lingerie more accessible. “The offer we put together really resonated with people,” said Morgan Hermand-Waiche, founder and CEO.
Digitally native brands will fuel the next wave of store expansion. That’s according to a new research report from JLL, which found that e-commerce retailers plan to open 850 stores in the next five years. The report cites such examples as mattress-in-a-box brand Casper, which will open 200 stores within three years, and women’s lingerie brand Adore Me, which has announced up to 300 additional stores in five years. All Birds, the eco-friendly footwear brand, is also opening stores.
The trend analyzed in JLL's report reflects Gartner L2 analysts' prediction a couple of years ago that physical stores are an inevitable tactic in any startup's growth strategy.
The study also demonstrates the value of pop-ups. Nearly 62% of permanent stores opened in the same city where an e-commerce venture opened their first pop-up shop. Popular cities for that trajectory are New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Last year the greatest number of permanent stores were opened by formerly online-only retailers, including Everlane, Allbirds, Away and MM.LaFleur.
Adobe Systems Inc. has been busy as of late. Last month, it announced plans to buy marketing automation company Marketo for $4.75 billion and in June it closed on its purchase of e-commerce platform Magento Commerce for $1.68 billion.
And this morning at the MagentoLive Europe user conference in Barcelona, Adobe and Magento made two announcements regarding the Magento acquisition, showing the companies are wasting no time adding Magento Commerce capabilities into the Adobe platform to help brands and retailers “make every moment shoppable.”
It's hard not to be a fan of Adore Me. The site releases covetable new designs monthly, and nearly everything is just $49.95! (Or close to it.) And, if you sign up for a VIP membership, you'll get even better prices — and every sixth set for free. We also love the brand's pajamas and swimwear.
As Armageddons go, the retail apocalypse is turning out to be short-lived. After a few years of headlines blaring about devastation and the scourge of e-commerce for physical stores, retailers in recent quarters are posting healthy comps and increases in foot traffic.