Will a curated online marketplace make Brooklinen a home goods star?

Discussion
Photo: Brooklinen
Oct 30, 2019
Tom Ryan

Brooklinen, a direct-to-consumer bedding brand, has launched an online marketplace featuring “a highly curated assortment of home goods from like-minded partner brands.”

“Spaces by Brooklinen” features 100 products from 12 partner brands in addition to 89 from Brooklinen. Founded in 2014 in Brooklyn, Brooklinen is best known for its sheet sets, but has expanded into pillows, comforters and other bedding products as well as towels, candles and lounge wear. Brooklinen is profitable, with revenue on track to approach $100 million this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

The idea for Spaces came from the company’s experience at its pop-up shop in New York last year when customers continually asked to buy the props used to stage bedrooms. In a statement, Brooklinen also said many customers inquired about how they could “recreate the Brooklinen aesthetic within their own homes.”

Rich Fulop, co-founder and CEO of Brooklinen, told Adweek, “We have a brand that has really good penetration. People trust us [to] set up a marketplace with a lot of different brands and products.”

Will a curated online marketplace make Brooklinen a home goods star?
Photo: Brooklinen

In its statement, Brooklinen said that all products available on the marketplace “are thoroughly researched and vetted to ensure they uniquely serve both form and function requirements and align with the brand’s philosophy and trademark approach of quality, curation and simplicity.”

The broader assortments are expected to expand the site’s average basket size.

Partners include furniture brand Dims, plant store The Sill, Boundless Rugs, Bombabird Ceramics, clock-maker Newgate and ready-to-assemble furniture start-up Floyd. 

Brooklinen and its partners will share revenue and hopefully customers with similar tastes. Kyle Hoff, Floyd’s CEO, told the WSJ, “There’s hopefully an introduction to Floyd through Brooklinen, and vice versa.”

Spaces by Brooklinen will feature three aesthetics — Relaxed Industrial, Earthy Minimalist and Modern Glam — shoppable by room collection or product category. The company expects to add dozens of other room types, such as nurseries, bathrooms and living rooms.

Brooklinen will open its first permanent store this year with plans to have 30 within three years and will incorporate Spaces’ partner brands into the stores.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the potential for digital DTC brands setting up curated marketplaces offering complimentary brands? How likely is Spaces by Brooklinen to be successful?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Digital DTC brands with a strong loyal following and sense of customer needs can create a curated marketplace in adjacent categories with similar and complementary brands."
"For Brooklinen, the benefit to consumers is a one-stop shop experience while for manufacturers or sellers, it is likely an additional channel to sell their products..."
"Well this gets to the essence of how to compete in Retail in the years ahead."

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3 Comments on "Will a curated online marketplace make Brooklinen a home goods star?"


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Brian Cluster
BrainTrust

Digital DTC brands with a strong loyal following and a strong sense of customer needs have a potential to create a curated marketplace in adjacent categories with similar and complementary brands.

Spaces by Brooklinen will be a success because their spaces portion has been designed to flow seamlessly from the rest of the website. What also works for them is that the partnership brands are subtle and not overly branded which may have tarnished some of the website’s appealing design. With the partnership’s three consumer-friendly aesthetics, they have made it easier for their customers to shop by thoughtfully grouping products by the three distinct styles.

Shikha Jain
BrainTrust
The success for any online marketplace is determined by critical mass. You have to have enough buyers and sellers to make the platform sustainable for the long-term. Once you have critical mass, then you can diversify. Think of Uber. They started out working with one use case and then as they got more people on their platform, branched out to other adjacent use cases that are still focused on transportation from A to B. It started still with B2C (food delivery through Uber Eats) and migrated to B2B (logistics through Uber Freight). For Brooklinen, the benefit to consumers is a one-stop shop experience while for manufacturers or sellers, it is likely an additional channel to sell their products and general brand awareness. The next step in Brooklinen’s journey is to investigate how they monetize both sides. Should they take a cut or commission (like ride-sharing apps such as Uber) from the seller? Should they have more of a subscription offering for sellers (like Etsy)? Should the consumer also have to pay something besides just the… Read more »
Peter Charness
BrainTrust

Well this gets to the essence of how to compete in Retail in the years ahead. Is it an “endless aisle” and try to out Amazon Amazon with breadth but in a specialty area, or can a retailer succeed by carefully curating an assortment and making it easy for the shopper to select products? I’ll vote with Brooklinen, create a great shopping place of exclusive products and let Amazon deal with mass market.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Digital DTC brands with a strong loyal following and sense of customer needs can create a curated marketplace in adjacent categories with similar and complementary brands."
"For Brooklinen, the benefit to consumers is a one-stop shop experience while for manufacturers or sellers, it is likely an additional channel to sell their products..."
"Well this gets to the essence of how to compete in Retail in the years ahead."

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