Clicks to Bricks

Jewel Toned InteriorsBlog

I’ve seen a massive shift in requests from retail clients during my career. With up and coming companies that are new to a marketplace, we used to hear, “We haven’t developed a website yet but we have these stores we’d like renovated.” Also, “I have this idea for a new boutique.” But, now retail clients come to us saying, we have this successful internet business and we’re finding the need for a brick and mortar.

It’s brilliant. Cult following through social media and Kickstarter allows companies to conquer the market. Here are three examples of successful brands that first established an online presence and later opened up a physical store:

I had the idea for this blog as soon as I realized Glossier was opening a pop-up shop in Miami. According to Business Insider, Glossier was able to raise $86 million in venture funding since 2014. To date, this brand has over 2 million Instagram followers and only one flagship store. The Glossier flagship opened in November in New York City. With an ethereal feeling,
the store design contrasts from conventional skincare retailers. Employees wear millennial pink jumpsuits and serve clients by iPad interaction. Inspiring customers to sample products, there’s no disruption in shopping by queuing at a cash wrap. Informing customers of completed orders, employees call their name out, much like their local barista.

Fabletics, the athleisure company with Kate Hudson as a founder is another excellent example. According to Forbes, Fabletics increased its revenue by 35% each year since its inception. The company had a valuation of over $250 million within its first three years of business since launching in October of 2013. Athletics didn’t open a physical store until two years later. “At a time when people are very nervous about retail, [our customers] still want the retail shopping experience,” Hudson told CNBC.

This clicks to bricks movement isn’t just for the female-centric brands. Digital native Warby Parker stormed the market via the web with a little help from GQ. Referring to this company as the “Netflix of Eyewear” the magazine made this start-up immediately viral. They hit their first sales target within three weeks. Founders Neil Blumenthal, Dave Gilboa, Andy Hunt, and Jeff Raider were ingenious in building out a school bus to tour 15 US cities. Allowing them to find out which markets would react well to a brick and mortar shop. Now the company has over 60 stores, most located in major U.S. markets.

These brand powerhouses have one thing in common. The customer’s experience drives the expansion from clicks to bricks.