E-commerce apparel retailer Modcloth is launching a private branded-label line, the retailer announced Wednesday.
The retailer also continued its experiment with pop-up “Fit Shops,” where women can try on clothes to order online and buy a few things available at the store as well. It’s running a Fit Shop now until Aug. 17 at San Francisco’s Union Square.
The retailer enjoys a close relationship with its customers and fans, taking suggestions from them regarding merchandise, style, and logistics.
Modcloth is a retailer with a strong sense of self, thanks not just to the vision of its founders, but also to the close ties it enjoys with its customer base, or what the retailer calls its “community.” That's a fairly unusual advantage, at a time when retailers from discount even to luxury are struggling to connect with consumers.
That connection has allowed Modcloth to develop a new private-label line in sync with what its customers want, says head of merchandising Nicole Haase.
“These are 95 items inspired by our community,” Haase told Retail Dive. “We see our community as our muse. Historically we’ve been perceived as quirky and cute, but you’ll see we are also sophisticated and pretty. It’s evolved to where you can wear something during the day, and for going out at night.” She noted that many of the dresses have pockets, a detail that came from customers’ input that is getting a great response.
Modcloth has focused on sourcing its private label items domestically and ethically as much as possible, Haase said. The line is starting slow, but the company has ambitions for it. And, as always, the retailer offers its apparel in sizes from extra small to 4X, with refinements to each size.
The Fit Shops, meanwhile, take a page from Bonobos guideshops, with stylists on hand to help shoppers make their choices but where mostly online orders are made. “For us this is more about bringing our community together, and having the community experience in real life,” Haase said. “A place to test and try and buy. Our community is at the center of what we do.”