Once net-only retailer Bonobos is getting yet more physical with a new push into Belk department stores in the southern U.S. states.
The company late last year said it was profitable and may be considering an IPO as early as this year or next.
Bonobos has raised some $70 million from investors and since 2012 Nordstrom has had a financial stake in the company as well.
Andy Dunn, one of the founders of Bonobos, said when the e-commerce company began in 2007 that men don’t enjoy shopping and that all menswear would eventually be sold online. But since then, the company has opened stand-alone stores, “guideshops” where customers can try on clothes to order online, and is offering its wares through department stores. The company has retained its upstart-like brashness so far though. It calls its store staff “ninjas,” for example. And earlier this month it seized on comments made by the wife of San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh — she said her husband’s pants were overly pleated and too downmarket — by giving the coach ten new pairs and $10,000 for a charity of his choice if he would stop wearing the loathsome chinos. The new push revealed Thursday through Belk department stores in southern states is yet another departure from its online strength, and it remains to be seen how it will affect the company’s brand or its prospects.