ModCloth is taking its e-store to the street

Modcloth RattiSteve’s breakdown: This e-tailer has a new team in the marketing department and the plan is to start opening brick-and-mortar stores, which makes this the perfect time to introduce yourself. They’ve been spending around $3 mil to drive folks to the website. They are going to have to beef that up for real retailing!


Dive Brief:

  • Online apparel and accessories retailer ModCloth Tuesday announced three new hires to help with its expansion.
  • Mary Alderete, who has two decades of experience with such brands as Levi Strauss and Gap Inc., will lead the retailer’s marketing and brand creative efforts as CMO. Elizabeth Cooksey joins as the company’s first VP of stores and retail operations, after working as an adviser for the retailer’s pop-up experiment last summer. Mike Janover, most recently at Yahoo, is now VP of marketing to oversee customer acquisition and retention.
  • ModCloth said that its expansion plans include “offline, international and brand extensions,” with Cooksey brought on to help accelerate its brick-and-mortar footprint.

Dive Insight:

Modcloth is a retailer with a strong sense of self, thanks to the vision of its founders and 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.

Its new hires suggest that the retailer aims to go further into physical retail. It has experimented with pop-up “Fit Shops,” akin to Bonobos “Guideshops,” where women can try on clothes to order online and buy a few things available at the store as well.

The retailer has also made a point of providing stylish apparel for women who shop for plus sizes, most recently blurring the lines between size segments by simply offering styles in a range of sizes, rather than separating categories with a plus size label. Many retailers don’t offer styles in larger sizes or only offer some styles in the larger-sized category.

That practice led many women on a Twitter chat hosted by plus-size retailer Lane Bryant last year to call out ModCloth as a retailer that provides stylish options for them at attractive price points.

“Mod Cloth isn’t perfect but they have been on the scene for a very short time and learned really quick how to do things,” Tweeted Amanda Levitt using the handle @FatBodyPolitics.


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