Many women love clothes, but don’t like the process of going to stores and trying things on. Online clothing retailers have gained momentum in recent years, causing long-time brick and mortar retailers to lose revenue and make changes, including closing their physical stores.
While customers might prefer the convenience of online shopping, they are still faced with the headache of returning items that don’t fit and waiting for replacements to arrive. So is there a happy medium that combines the best of both worlds?
Clothing start-up Reformation seems to have hit the sweet spot. By combining technology, environmentally-friendly processes, and sleek physical stores, Reformation has not only raked in profits, but has managed to expand when other retail stores are closing.
The company closed out 2017 with $100 million in revenue. According to a feature in Business Insider, longtime brand J. Crew only made a fraction of this over the same period. Reformation also raised $25 million in Series B funding, and has accumulated some celebrity fans like Rhianna and Karlie Kloss.
Of course, the downside is the high price. Reformation clothing ranges from $98 to almost $300, making it somewhat unaffordable for the masses. But its focus on improving the experience of buying clothes is what attracts so many customers.
Here’s how it works inside Reformation. The stores aren’t packed with various sizes of the same pieces, which means the space itself doesn’t look cluttered or overwhelming to shoppers. Instead, the company only puts one size of each item on the racks in clean displays, and if a customer likes something, they can go to an associate who can choose the sizes they want to try from the store’s app. When the customers go to their fitting rooms, the clothes (in correct corresponding sizes) are there waiting to be tried on. If you don’t want to talk to a sales associate at all, you can also go to one of the in-store monitors and choose the items and sizes yourself.
Customers can also check each item’s “RefScale,” which is a measure of a piece of clothing’s water usage, carbon emissions, and waste generated in manufacturing so you can feel good about the environmental impact of your purchase.
The brand’s interactive dressing rooms have been a game-changer in retail shopping, allowing customers to adjust lighting, listen to music from their own playlists, and charge their devices while trying things on.
Another convenient store feature: sales associates come to your dressing room when you’re ready to check out, instead of you gathering your clothes and waiting in line for the register.
Despite the fact that 80 percent of the company’s sales come from online shoppers, retail business is booming. Reformation is poised to be one of the only online retailers to expand its brick and mortar locations.