Thinx "period-proof" underwear as of Wednesday is available through several locations of retail concept startup b8ta, including in New York City, San Francisco, Houston, Austin, Texas, and Tyson's Corner, Virginia.
The first time Thinx became available through brick-and-mortar retail (aside from pop-ups) was through a partnership with Nordstrom inked earlier this year, for sales online and in full-line stores in Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Denver. The b8ta tie-up brings Thinx to shoppers in even more cities, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The effort also helps expand b8ta's assortment, which tends to be tech and device-oriented. Thinx is the only "femtech" offering available at b8ta stores at the moment, according to the release. The term refers to innovations around women's health and wellness.
The technological innovation behind Thinx resides not just in its highly wicking, highly absorbent materials, but also in its marketing, emphasizing female empowerment and persuading many women and girls that period products don't have to be disposable.
"Over the past several years, innovations in femtech, specifically within the realm of menstrual hygiene products, have helped establish a new status-quo, one that eliminates shame around periods and empowers people to take pride in their bodies and personal health in the process," Thinx CEO Maria Molland said in a statement.
That marketing is helped greatly when shoppers have an opportunity to see Thinx in person, she also said. "As a company who built its business online, it's critical to our growth to diversify our sales channels and that includes brick and mortar," she said in a statement. "Because of the personal nature of our product, it's important for customers to touch and feel it to understand the technology."
For b8ta, the partnership continues a merchandise evolution, beyond robots and similar tech and into apparel, that has been enabled by last year's investment from Macy's. Both categories benefit when consumers can encounter them in person, b8ta co-Founder and CEO Vibhu Norby told Retail Dive last year. "The fundamentals are very similar to electronics," he said. "There are new products that people want to try before they buy."