- DTC menswear brand True Classic opened its first company-owned and operated brick-and-mortar store at the Houston Galleria on Thursday, per a release sent to Retail Dive.
- The 1,600-square-foot store is the first of three new locations to be opened before the end of the year. True Classic will also open in Boca Raton, Florida, in mid-November and Frisco, Texas, on Dec. 1.
- Launched in 2019, True Classic is continuing to expand its retail footprint with plans to scale up to 50 to 100 stores over the next two to four years, per the company.
Started as a T-shirt brand by co-founders Ryan Bartlett, Nick Ventura and Matt Winnick, True Classic has in a short time expanded its offerings to include a variety of basic fashion tops, bottoms, outerwear and accessories.
According to Matt Kawadler, chief operating officer at True Classic, the DTC brand has generated net sales of $250 million in four years, which is helping the company grow its retail presence. The brand is sold in over 190 markets around the world, all through the brand’s website platform and now at retail in the U.S.
Prior to opening Houston, True Classic launched five branded pop-up shops through a partnership with Leap, a retail platform company. Those shops — located in Chicago; Santa Clara, California; Torrance, California; and Tysons Corner, Virginia — plus the three new company-operated stores will give True Classic eight locations by year’s end.
Like a number of DTC fashion brands that are diversifying their selling platforms, True Classic believes their core customers, and new ones, appreciate the opportunity to see and feel products in person at brick-and-mortar stores. “Of course, there is strength in diversifying our business across channels,” Kawadler said in an email to Retail Dive. “We’re opening physical stores because many customers still primarily shop for men’s apparel in store, and this is how we get in front of them and be where they are.”
“We already have an extremely loyal shopper in the DTC space,” added Bartlett in a statement. “Once they purchase True Classic, more often than not, the customer returns with a repeat purchase and also buys into other categories. We are looking for those same offerings and results in a brick and mortar space and there is an extremely high amount of potential in these store openings as we are going to the markets where our loyal customers live. As we start to build this physical presence in these top markets, both existing and new customers will be able to truly experience the True Classic brand in a hands-on way.”
The opportunity to have and execute full control of operations was a major factor in deciding to open owned and operated stores.
“Being at the helm of creative direction and operations is crucial to our next step in physical retail,” Brent Paulsen, vice-president and head of retail, said in a statement. “While we had great success with our current stores through our strategic partner, having True Classic owned and operated locations will allow us to be fully immersed and connected with our consumer.”