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Nordstrom looks to buy men's clothing site Trunk Club

Trunk Club sends out clothing to try on in the mail based on customer's needs and taste

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
July 14, 2014 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3821

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, fashion and I do not  go together. I don't have an eye for it, and I don't know anyone who does. But I'm thinking that maybe I should try out Trunk Club, an online men's clothing service that sends out clothing in the mail and let you return what you don't like. It seems like a pretty good service for someone like me, who honestly does not have much time to go shopping.

It's also looking good to upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom, who is currently in talks to buy Trunk Club, according to a report out from ReCode on Monday. Obviously no details the talks have been revealed as of yet, and neither company would confirm the report.

Sources told ReCode that the talks could also end with a strategic investment from Nordstrom, and that would be in-line with Nordstrom's current strategy. It has invested in a few online clothing companies, including online gift retailer Wantful, and  Bonobos, an e-commerce clothing brand that focuses on men's pants.

In fact, earlier this month Nordstrom participated in a $55 million round for the company. It is likely not a coincidence that Trunk Club CEO Brian Spaly was one of founders of Bonobos.

The Chicago-based Trunk Club hand-selects a trunk of items based on each customer’s needs and tastes. Those items are then shipped out, and the customer keeps what they want and sends the rest right back to us, at no cost to them.

The company's offerings, as ReCode points out, could nicely compliment Nordstrom's existing in-store styling service.

The company has raised over $12 million including an $11 million Series A from U.S. Venture Partners, Greycroft Partners, Apex Venture Partners and Anthos Capital in September 2011. Since then, its run rate revenue has grown 10X while membership has grown to 50,000 from 10,000. Additionally, its team has grown to 300 from 50. 

Nordstrom has, so far, only made one tech acquisition when it bought flash-sale website HauteLook for $270 million in 2011.

The online fashion space

Founded in 2009, Trunk Club has been able to thrive in a space where many other companies have failed.

That includes CakeStyle, which, like Trunk Club, a service that sent users a box of clothing based on a customer’s individual style preferences. It shut down in August 2013. MyShape, a site that attempted to redefine online clothes shopping by focusing on a user’s measurements, style choices, and fit preferences to make clothing recommendations via personalized stores shut down in April 2013. 

Fab, meanwhile, has almost completely given up on its flash-sales model and instead become a custom design furniture company

VatorNews has reached out to both Nordstrom and Trunk Club for confirmation. Neither company was available for comment, but we will update if we learn more. 

(Image source: trunkclub.com)


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