ModCloth, a Walmart-owned e-Commerce clothing retailer, will open five stores in 2018 after years of operating only one location, according to Business Insider. The retailer’s second shop opened June 8 in San Francisco, with additional openings slated for New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.
ModCloth stores serve as showrooms with limited inventory, allowing customers to try on outfits to make sure they fit and look good. Stylists help shoppers select and order items, which are shipped for free within two to four days.
The only products available for purchase in-store will be a selection of one-of-a-kind items curated for each location. The retailer specializes in vintage-inspired clothing and accessories, and counts Millennial women as its primary audience.
The locations will be called FitShops, a name similar to the Guideshops run by Bonobos, which helped pioneer the store-as-a-showroom concept and was acquired Walmart acquired for $310 million in June 2017. The retailers’ similar approach to building a brick-and-mortar footprint is no coincidence: ModCloth CEO Antonio Nieves was formerly the CFO and COO of Bonobos.
ModCloth’s first store opened in Austin, Texas in late 2016. The company was acquired by Walmart subsidiary Jet.com for an estimated $50 million to $75 million in March 2017.
The retailer had long wanted to grow its physical presence, but was limited by lack of funding, Nieves told Business Insider. Prior to its acquisition, ModCloth had struggled to raise capital after its initial $80 million funding round, which led to six rounds of employee layoffs over two and a half years.
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