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The company will also make its virtual fitting service available in-store
While the conversation in retail is all about e-commerce and online sales, the reality is that most shopping is still done in-store: only 21% of global retail sales were done online as of 2022. At the same time, people are increasingly heading back into brick and mortar businesses now that the pandemic is finally over.
So, it's not surprisingly when brands that started out being exclusively online transition to brick and mortar; the most famous example of this is Amazon, which began operating its own brick and mortar stores in 2015.
The latest to make the move from online to offline is Cuup, a direct-to-consumer lingerie brand that also provides a virtual fitting service. On Friday, the company announced it entered into a partnership with Bloomingdale’s, according to a report from Retail Dive, to make its products and services available not only on the retailer’s website, but also in-store at its 59th Street Flagship Store location in New York City.
The Bloomingdale’s website will carry 17 styles in 53 sizes from its unlined bras, underwear range and swimwear collection, while the store will carry a similar selection with 15 styles in the same size range.
Along with its products, Cuup's virtual fitting service will be available in-store. The service involves asking about the customer's current bra to learn more about their needs, and it then asks them to measure their band and bust. Cuup then calculates their size. When in-store, this will be done via a team of what are being called “Fit Therapists.”
“Cuup is thrilled to be partnering with Bloomingdale’s for our first retail partnership, as the iconic retailer is largely recognized as an industry leader in the intimates space,” Kearnon O’Molony, co-founder and CEO of Cuup, said in a statement.
“Bringing our best-selling styles to Bloomingdale’s is providing a new opportunity for our business to be discovered by such an engaged consumer — available both online and at the flagship New York City 59th Street location.”
Others direct-to-consumer brands that have transitioned from the online to offing retail worlds include Warby Parker, which began as an online-only retailer, but opened its first retail showroom in 2013 and now operates close to 160 stores in North America, as well as Untuckit, Everlane, Allbirds, Boll & Branch, Casper, Wayfair, and Harry’s.
There is a risk, though: people are generally down on the in-store shopping experience. Even before COVID, people were dissatisfied with the experience of buying things in-store: a 2019 survey of shoppers found that 80% said they feel they’re not receiving a personalized shopping experience.
More recent data shows that customers believe the in-store shopping experience is worse now than it was pre-COVID, and the reason why is because of understaffed stores, or staff who are poorly trained. Brands that have built up good will online may risk undercutting that if a customer has a bad in-store experience.
(Image source: shopcuup.com)
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