Everlane’s newest and biggest shop in New York comes with details like 4,000 square feet and 12 fitting rooms that continue to iterate on the brand’s retail footprint.
The digitally native brand, which has three other stores, including one that opened in Los Angeles in August, is sharpening its bricks-and-clicks strategy by opening up a shop with even more space and that addresses some of the challenges its other brick-and-mortar locations have faced, like long fitting room times or not enough product assortments.
“We’re trying to really pay attention to where our customer is and then be able to put in a real-life location to support their shopping needs,” said Tara Shanahan, vp of retail at Everlane.
With the expanded sale space, Shanahan said the company now sells 20% of its online assortment in the new Williamsburg store, compared to Everlane’s Prince Street location in New York, which sells about 12%-13%. The shop also has the brand’s first men’s floor, complete with Everlane’s newest collection, dubbed the “uniform,” which has 12 everyday basics and a 365-day guarantee, which allows customers to return an item with Everlane replacing it for free.
The company has also implemented a “Save My Spot” SMS service, by which customers can receive a text when a fitting room is free for them to use. Although it sounds like common fixes to situations legacy retailers have done for years, for Everlane, it’s an evolution of figuring out what works for its customers—and going beyond just brand awareness.
Shanahan said Everlane decided to open up a second shop in New York because it is one of the brand’s highest markets. And while some digitally native brands, like Rothy’s and Casper, are opening up more retail to increase brand awareness instead of sales, Shanahan said it’s a mix of reaching customers where they’re shopping (thanks to the data it has acquired online) and sales. The brand does look at monthly data to figure out which items are working for each location and what’s not, but Everlane tries to “immerse” itself into the community by holding events in the space and not just existing as a shopping destination.
“Our goal isn’t so much that we’re lifting our sales and getting new customer acquisition,” Shanahan said. “It’s really about being able to help the communities we’re going into and if they want to buy a pair of pants then great. A big piece of Everlane is educating our customer on what it is we can do to help make fashion a cleaner place.”
After this shop opens, Everlane is opening another in the Stanford shopping mall in Palo Alto, Calif., and breaking ground on eight more stores in 2020, including one at the Boston Seaport.
Everlane joins the slew of brands testing either pop-up shops like Rockets of Awesome or using retail space to continue to figure out what customers want. And, according to Coresight Research, 3,064 stores have opened this year so far, showing that retail isn’t necessarily dead; it’s just changing to meet consumer needs.