In an omnichannel world, innovators can choose multiple avenues to break into an existing market. Because of its relatively low cost of entry, many upstarts gravitate to e-Commerce first. Other startups choose to work with existing retailers to take advantage of their brand recognition, customer base and operational capabilities.
At the Retail Innovation Conference, speakers from two companies that are less than 10 years old — Adore Me and Bedgear — explained why (and how) they took different routes to become players in the lingerie and mattress/bedding businesses, respectively.
Adore Me Leverages Rapid Online Growth For Offline Expansion
Founded in 2010, Adore Me set out to challenge Victoria’s Secret by starting as an e-Commerce pure play offering more affordable high-quality lingerie for a wider range of body types, from petite to plus-size, than the category leader. Adore Me also shook up the market by unveiling new styles much more often than the traditional two collections per year. Sales took off. The most recent Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies reported that Adore Me grew almost 1,400% from 2014 to 2016.
With revenues in the $100 million range and a customer base of more than 11 million, Adore Me is now looking offline to catapult its business to the next level. Romain Liot, COO of Adore Me, shed light on the company’s plans in a session titled Online To Offline: How Adore Me Is Rethinking Its Operating Model To Open 300 Retail Stores.
Looking ahead five years, Liot sees Adore Me as an omnichannel brand with 200 to 300 boutiques — even though it has no previous experience operating at retail aside from its New York City showroom, which provides a personal shopping experience by appointment only.
Liot explained that the company launched…