In this episode, we meet Steven Borrelli, the CEO and founder CUTS Clothing.
CUTS is a clothing brand built for the sport of business. It started with t-shirts designed for the work setting and has since expanded to polos, pants, and jackets, and recently started a women's line.
In this episode, Steven shares the lessons he learned from launching a brand store.
Omnichannel purchase behavior
Brand store strategy
Merchandising and inventory
CUTS started in DTC with paid acquisition via Google, Facebook, and influencers. Then expanded to Nordstrom and its own location in Soho, NY.
Soho is CUTS most profitable digital advertising segment. The store acts a billboard. People walk by it and shop online. Or they buy in-store, and the 2nd purchase happens online.
A store is an extension of the brand and easier to launch than a partnership with a big box retailer. And has fewer restrictions and formalities.
People often want to shop for the first time in-store because they want to try clothes online and then become long-term online customers.
Stores can be a venue for events and community activation, especially with celebrity and influencer collaborations.
Steven selected Soho because it a densely populated location with a high concentration of customers.
The Soho store is a test case, but Steven de-risked via a 2.5-year lease (versus the 10-year standard).
Stores have their own Conversion Rate Optimization, e.g., if a clerk misses 2 customers per day it's a missed opportunity of $400k per year.
Measure your store like an e-commerce site. How many visited vs. purchased per day? AOV, New vs. returning. Capture phone number to build SMS list, etc.
Having a consistent experience is hard outside of your DTC and brand store. Steven often says no to wholesale inquiries, where CUTS can’t control the experience.
Merchandising is a learning curve. Steven learned not dedicate as much space to filler products vs. hero. Learning how to merchandise in-store can help you optimize your DTC experience and merchandising.
There is a ton of nuance in the store layout and merchandise presentation. Ie. depth of racks, and placements of tables.
Please let us know your thoughts about the episode!