- ThirdLove announced on Thursday its first experiential retail store concept, which launches on July 24 and will remain open through the end of 2019, according to a company press release. The store will be located at 347 West Broadway in New York City.
- Over 60% of the physical location will be dedicated to fitting rooms. The company stated that the retail space is a pilot that will be used to "gather information" on what customers are looking for from an in-person experience.
- ThirdLove partnered with the same architecture team that worked on The Wing for its fitting room concept. The space will also feature "bra displays" for the brand's over 78 different product styles and sizes.
ThirdLove is coming for market share.
The digitally native, direct-to-consumer brand is broadening its reach through the launch of its first physical location during a time of change within the lingerie segment.
The clear leader within the space has been Victoria's Secret. Yet this past April, its parent company, L Brands, was downgraded from "stable" to "negative" by Moody's Investors Service due to "deteriorating operating margins and negative comparable store sales at Victoria's Secret for the past 10 quarters." The downgrade came after a smattering of negative stories about the leading lingerie company and the retailer's apparent reluctance to back away from an oversexualized image.
Even though financially Victoria's Secret is still moving product (it brought in $1.15 billion in total sales in the first quarter of 2019), the missteps have given other players space to jockey for consumer attention.
Underwear and bra brand Aerie, which is owned by teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters, recently saw its 18th consecutive quarter of double-digit comps, which rose 14%, following a 38% increase the previous year. And Chico's Soma intimates brand recently partnered with retail concept b8ta to introduce customers to its "SOMAINNOFIT" bra to help shoppers find the right undergarment fit.
This past February, ThirdLove expanded its product line to 78 sizes, including band sizes between 30 and 48 and cup sizes between AA and I. The lingerie retailer is also known for its half-cups, which give options to customers who are between sizes.
"[W]e have always used customer feedback and data to help us better serve all women. This retail space will give us the chance to do that in real life, learning what women want from an in-store bra fitting experience," said ThirdLove's co-founder and co-CEO Heidi Zak in a statement.