Adore Me, an e-Commerce lingerie retailer, plans to build a physical presence through 200 to 300 store openings over the next five years, according to The Wall Street Journal. The retailer will establish seven to 10 locations in 2018, with the first launching in New York City in the coming months.
The retailer will open an additional 20 stores in 2019 to measure foot traffic, then accelerate the expansion during the following years. Establishing a physical presence is necessary for digital brands to compete with mainstream retailers, according to Morgan Hermand-Waiche, Founder and CEO at Adore Me. Many of the stores will be in the same malls as Victoria’s Secret locations.
“Victoria’s Secret is the big guy in the room,” said Hermand-Waiche in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “Even if we are successful for a digitally native brand, we will remain small compared to Victoria’s Secret.”
Adore Me is exploring special features for its locations, including bars where shoppers can socialize and showrooms where they can try on items and have them shipped home. Salespeople will use mobile devices rather than traditional fixed POS stations to check out shoppers.
While Adore Me sees a physical presence as crucial to growth, other e-Commerce lingerie retailers don’t necessarily believe brick-and-mortar is the way forward. Lively started opening temporary stores in January 2018, but with a focus on driving digital impressions rather than making sales. ThirdLove, a startup that gives shoppers a month to try bras with the option to return them free of charge, believes the future of lingerie shopping is online, not in-store.