TAYLRD Clothing, an e-Commerce site that allows shoppers to buy from a selection of more than 90 size and fit variants per color of pants, has less than a year of operation under its belt. But youth isn’t stopping the men’s fashion retailer from testing the waters of physical retailing in a unique way — via a 28-foot pop-up Airstream trailer.
The TAYLRDStream mobile pop-up shop experience is designed to showcase the TAYLRD brand and its products throughout the U.S. The trailer includes two fitting rooms as well as a lounging area to browse through the merchandise equipped with music, a TV and a stocked bar.
Online and at the pop-up shop, chinos sell within a $45 to $75 range, long-sleeve dress shirts sell for approximately $50 and swim trunks are priced at nearly $60.
The trailer kicked off its U.S. tour in Brooklyn, N.Y. on May 3 at The Freehold café and bar before moving to The Domain outdoor mall in Austin, Texas on May 11, where it resided for nearly a month. The next stop for the Airstream will be an undisclosed location in Santa Monica, Calif. By stopping in different markets, TAYLRD can collaborate with local brands and individuals to create more curated options that fit the customer base in each city.
The retailer aims to visit 10 cities by the end of 2018, according to Tom Dwyer, CEO and Founder of TAYLRD Clothing. TAYLRD couldn’t afford to open 10 static brick-and-mortar stores, and using the trailer allows TAYLRD to beta test locations and easily change tactics if a location isn’t working out. The retailer assesses e-Commerce data to determine its top-performing markets to decide which may be the best fit for the pop-up shop.
“We were looking at the Santa Monica and Los Angeles areas as our next spots,” Dwyer said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Definitely the Northeast, as Washington, D.C. is a big market for us. Also, a lot of summer towns such as Montauk, N.Y., Newport, R.I., Boston and Cape Cod, Mass. The goal is to look to do those before we stop for the season.”
TAYLRD purchased the trailer and used a crane to lift it off an eight-story building’s roof in Brooklyn where it had resided for 30 years. The retailer then partnered with trailer and camper design firm KUT Limited for a six-month renovation.
“It was really about making the shopping experience more enjoyable and in a way that we could merge enjoyable things with shopping,” said Dwyer. “How do we get this trailer into places where we feel like we’d have a good time and have a different experience? That means we’re doing event-based partnerships with hotels and bars in places that feel like fun. That’s going to help us scale faster, and from a brand perspective, it’s such a huge opportunity to get in front of customers, educate them on our product and stay confident about who we are and why we started.”
Airstream Marks ‘Leap Of Faith’ For TAYLRD Expansion
Dwyer noted that the decision to purchase the Airstream was a “leap of faith,” but that it was a decision his team discussed every day before determining that it was the right alternative for the business. Coming from an e-Commerce logistics background armed with the lofty goal of making high-quality menswear affordable, Dwyer knows that such risks are often required in order to continue expanding rapidly.
“There’s flexibility if things aren’t working and we want to change course quickly,” Dwyer said. “It’s about trying to make calculated decisions about where to invest our capital. In terms of our product and the experience, it helps that we are our target customer, so we have ourselves as well as a network of people we can bounce ideas off of to get a better feel for what’s going to do well in our market.”
TAYLRD promotes the trailer on its web site, dedicating a page to the TAYLRDStream for potential shoppers to follow and receive updates on its latest whereabouts.