ThirdLove brings digital bra-fitting to physical retail with its first store
“Nobody wants to go bra shopping,” Heidi Zak, co-founder and co-CEO of online lingerie seller ThirdLove told Business Insider in September 2018. “I started the company so a woman wouldn’t have to go to the store.”
Despite that original mission, ThirdLove has become the latest digital native to test a physical location. The retailer will run a pop-up in Manhattan’s Soho section from July 24 through the end of 2019.
Since launching in 2014, over 14 million women have been fitted online through ThirdLove’s Fit Finder technology, which is said to take 60 seconds to complete, asking women a series of questions about their current bra and unique breast shape. Proprietary algorithms developed in-house by ThirdLove’s female-led data science and design teams then help find the perfect fit across the brand’s broad range of 78 sizes, including half-sizes.
In a statement, Ms. Zak said ThirdLove is opening the pop-up because “a lot of our customers have expressed a desire to connect with our brand in person.” Management is also testing what women are looking for from an in-person ThirdLove shopping experience.
The store will seek to “replicate this digital experience by making shopping for a bra more convenient and more educational, so women have the knowledge and support they need to know how a bra should properly fit.”
At the pop-up, “Fit Stylists” will tap Fit Finder technology to avoid the anxiety and awkwardness of having an associate use a tape measure for bra fittings.
Over 60 percent of the 1,000-square-foot space will be dedicated to fitting rooms, including some with drawers in the back that allow associates to slide garments through to the customers without having to walk in or pass items through a flimsy curtain. Larger fitting rooms will be available for a higher level of one-on-one assistance.
ThirdLove’s pop up arrives as a number of brands, including Adore Me, American Eagle’s Aerie and True&Co, are increasingly challenging the largest lingerie player, Victoria’s Secret, with more inclusive offerings and marketing.
Also adding technology to bra-fitting is Chico’s FAS’s SOMA brand, which recently introduced the SOMAINNOFIT Bluetooth-connected bra and an accompanying fit-predicting app to “measure your shape in seconds.”
- ThirdLove Announces First “Fit Experience” Store Concept in New York City – ThirdLove/Business Wire
- ThirdLove, the buzzy online bra startup that publicly slammed Victoria’s Secret for its lack of inclusivity, is opening its first pop-up store in New York – Business Insider
- Online Lingerie Seller Copies Victoria’s Secret by Opening Store – Retail Touchpoints
- Online Lingerie Seller Copies Victoria’s Secret by Opening Store – Bloomberg
- ThirdLove to open 1st retail store – Retail Dive
- Soma Announces New Partnership that Brings its Innovations in Form, Fabric and Fit to Even More Customers and Loyal Fans – SOMA
- Sexy isn’t selling anymore for Victoria’s Secret – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is most challenging for customers about the bra-fitting experience? Is fit technology such as ThirdLove’s or SOMA’s the answer or are reworked fitting rooms? Does ThirdLove need a store to optimally deliver its fit solution?