Web-mostly players Indochino and Untuckit have been busy getting more physical as of late.
Indochino, which began as an online-only retailer of men’s custom suits has for years been expanding its showrooms that enable shoppers to visit a physical location, feel the fabric, get fitted and then order their garments online to be shipped to their homes. The retailer has opened 14 such showrooms this year alone, with three more on the docket to open this month in Atlanta, Newport Beach and on Madison Ave. in New York, the retailer said this week. It currently has a 31 showrooms, a spokeswoman says.
The retailer says average order value in showrooms is higher than online. In showrooms, shoppers work with a style guide who creates a measurement profile and helps the shopper select fabric and customizations via an app. After ordering in a showroom, the garments are delivered within three weeks.
Indochino, No. 552 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000, with estimated web sales of $61.9 million in 2017, also announced this week it is selling custom made-to-measure overcoats as well as chinos exclusively in its showrooms. The overcoats will sell for $399 and chinos for $79.
The new products are the first in a series of product expansion announcements over the coming months before the 2018 holiday season, with more planned for 2019, Indochino says.
Meanwhile, Unuckit, which sells men’s shirts designed to be worn untucked along with other apparel, announced today it will open its first international store in Toronto on Sept. 12. Untuckit (No. 405), which launched as an online-only retailer in 2010, first ventured into offline retail in the fall of 2015, when it opened a pop-up store in the Soho neighborhood of New York City. Today, the merchant operates 39 stores in the United States and plans to open 15 more U.S. stores this year. But online still reigns when it comes to sales—75% of Untuckit’s sales still happen online, CEO Aaron Sanandres says. Unlike Indochino, shoppers can leave Untuckit store with their products in hand. It also announced today hockey legend Wayne Gretzky as a new brand ambassador and investor.
Many web-only brands branch out into bricks-and-mortar retail after gaining traction online. That’s a wise move, according to new data. In a survey of more than 1,000 online shoppers conducted by Bizrate Insights earlier this year, consumers gain peace of mind when shopping with new retailers if they can see the items in person. When asked, “When considering a purchase from a retailer you’ve never bought from before, how important is it be to be able to see the retailer’s products in person?” 36.1% said it was somewhat important, the most popular answer. And 24% said very important, the second-most common answer.
Indochino and Untuckit aren’t alone. For example, digitally native men’s apparel seller Bonobos (owned by Walmart Inc., No. 3) has around 50 “guideshops” that provide shoppers with fittings and try-ons through 1-on-1 appointments. Like Indochino, shoppers don’t walk out with anything; the “guides” place the orders for customers, and clothes are shipped to their home or office.
Meanwhile, eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker (No. 174), which also started out selling only online, estimated the majority of its revenue would come from its 65 stores during 2017. As with Bonobos and Indochino, Warby Parker ships prescription eyeglasses purchased in store to its customer’s home.
Warby Parker has some innovative omnichannel features going for it. It has two apps—one that lets a consumer shop for frames and another called “prescription check” that is a telehealth service, allowing an eye doctor to assess the view through a consumer’s glasses and provide an updated eyeglasses prescription. Both are only available on Apple iOS devices. The retailer also offers many details on its website about each of its stores. For example, some stores offer a 10-minute prescription check, others offer complete eye exams, while still others only allow consumers to select and buy frames. Each store has a listing saying what it offers and a picture of the store. Shoppers can toggle to see only stores where they can get an eye exam or update a prescription.
Additionally, “mostly digital” beauty brand Glossier Inc. announced in April a new store in Los Angeles. The store is the second permanent retail location for Glossier. The other is a 1,500-square-foot store in New York, which opened in 2016.Favorite