Online apparel retailer Everlane is opening a flagship store in San Francisco’s Mission District, though the date remains a secret, Racked reports.
News of Everlane’s arrival was first reported by a neighborhood real estate blog, Mission Local. A request to Everlane from Retail Dive for more details or comment wasn’t immediately returned.
CEO Michael Preysman and designer Rebekka Bay told attendees the Fashion Tech Forum in Brooklyn last year that the company was taking a serious look at brick-and-mortar, which Preysman once rejected out of hand.
Preysman — who in 2012 told the New York Times T fashion magazine that Everlane would never open a brick-and-mortar store, even as it was opening pop-ups in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles — said in October, "There is a set of customers that wants to touch product before they buy it, and that's not something that we can change, no matter how much social media we do. So we are thinking about [physical retail]. We’re looking at it, and that’s all we can say at the moment."
The move follows similar pivots by pure-play darlings Warby Parker, Bonobos, Casper and Birchbox (not to mention e-commerce stalwart Amazon) to boost sales and brand recognition through physical stores. As e-commerce took retail by storm over the last two decades, many observers declared the end of brick and mortar, but pure-play retailers are discovering that physical stores offer their customers a highly effective way to connect with their brands and their merchandise. Now Everlane, which has credited selling (almost) exclusively online for its lower prices and better-quality merchandise, appears to be joining the list of pure-play efforts that once underestimated the power of a physical store.
Everlane previously launched a partnership with boutique retailer Opening Ceremony — Everlane's core cashmere collection, two limited-edition sweaters and an upcoming holiday capsule collection will be sold through Opening Ceremony's New York City and London locations. Everlane last fall ran a "Shoe Park" pop-up in New York’s Soho neighborhood, one of several short-term pop-up shops and fit studios Everlane has opened over the past three years.