Just over a month after Walmart bought Bonobos, a new online men’s apparel company has opened its virtual doors. Taylrd launched Aug. 1 with a similar brand message as Bonobos — men aren’t all that keen on spending a lot of time shopping for clothes, but still want well-fitting basics, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The company believes there’s opportunity in online apparel sales for men, based on market research revealing that, while some 80% of men have bought a pair of pants online in the last six months, 30% returned a pair because of sizing issues, the company said.
While Walmart is well known for its “always low prices,” Taylrd says its price tags handily beat those at Walmart’s newly acquired menswear brand: short-sleeved shirts run for $44, compared to $88 at Bonobos, while chinos are $78 at Taylrd and run $98–$168 at Bonobos, according to the New York Post.
There’s been enough grumbling among loyal Bonobos customers over Walmart’s acquisition that a brand like Taylrd — if it really can deliver the quality, consistency, pricing and convenience its founder is promising — has an opportunity to turn heads (and wallets).
"When this company started it was inspired very much by Bonobos," Founder and CEO Tom Dwyer told Retail Dive. "What spurred the idea was that their clothing was getting very expensive. That ease of use was causing me as a Bonobos customer to spend more money than I wanted to. It got me to thinking what about that young professional who can't spend $100 or $150 for a pair of pants — or that guy of any age who doesn’t want to? It wasn't spurred by the Walmart acquisition, but it did feel like kismet when the Walmart deal was announced. I feel that a lot of Bonobos customers and future Taylrd customers don’t feel that Walmart fits with their values, and I don’t see the offline-online synergies there either or the idea of associating with a company that has had such trouble with some of their workers."
Some of those wallets belong to millennial men’s mothers and significant others, according to the brand’s research. In a survey of 1,000 U.S. millennial men (ages 18-32), Taylrd found almost 40% of their mothers have bought clothes for them in the last six months, with one in five guys benefiting from their significant other shopping for them in the past month. The findings were so significant that the company aims to incorporate those buyers into its marketing, Dwyer told Retail Dive. Mostly, though, he aims to make shopping for men easier, which will entail some offline presence as well as easy online shopping. The company is already planning pop-up shops in the next month or two, including one at Miami's Art Basel show.
Men avoid the task in part because it's so difficult to find clothes that fit right and look good, according to Dwyer. Men’s apparel has many of the same fit issues that women’s apparel does, including inconsistent sizing. Taylrd aims to provide meaningful details about how each type of fit feels (right now that's standard and slim, but it will expand later to include ultra slim and a fit for more muscular body types).
Ultimately, Taylrd may also be equipped to provide swifter fulfillment. Bonobos offers free shipping and free returns, but shipping times range from one day to five, stretching to more time in states west and south of the Northeast. One-business day delivery from Bonobos is an extra $25, and two-day delivery is $15, although in certain zones, orders over $275 qualify for a free upgrade to two-business day delivery, according to the Bonobos website. Out of the gate Taylrd offers free returns and free, three-day delivery for orders over $75 and international deliveries within a month. By October, the company says it has plans for same-day delivery in five cities, including New York City.
Dwyer says he’s learned from his experience as a supply-chain executive at Asos, Boohoo and Victoria’s Secret, and as a former owner of the New York-based shipping company his father founded more than a quarter-century ago, where he learned about clearing customs, warehousing, shipping and other aspects of delivery, according to the Post’s account. His design team also includes industry veterans from Nike, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, who brought with them existing relationships that helped the startup approach garment factories.