Finery, the online fashion retailer of womenswear, shoes and accessories, has decided to have an offline presence. It is set to open physical outlets in six flagship stores of John Lewis. The move follows the company clocking £5m (€6.5m, $7.3m) in its first year of sales.
Nickyl Raithatha, cofounder at the company, said: “We are on the cusp of becoming mainstream. [It will] accelerate awareness of our brand. It is important for us to be wherever our customers what to be and there will always be people that want to try clothes on before they buy.”
He added that the company had beaten expectations by attracting 10,000 customers since its launch 12 months ago. Raithatha said while there are no current plans for a standalone store, it is working on opening more of these concession stores, which are essentially miniature stores operated by the brand and located within a larger store, to enable reaching out to more customers.
The move also reflects the latest trend of online retailers having a physical presence. Examples of other such internet-based retailers include furniture companies. In 2015, Loaf and Made.com set up high street stores and more recently online giant Amazon launched its physical bookstores across the US.
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Finery was set up in 2015 by Caren Downie, Raithatha and Luca Marini. While Downie is a former fashion director at Topshop, Raithatha and Marini are both from Harvard University with work experience at Rocket Internet, the German company that builds online startups and owns stake in various models of internet retail businesses.
The London headquartered company is backed by Global Fashion Group that is dedicated to bringing fashion online to emerging markets and has shareholders including Kinnevik, the Swedish investment firm, and Rocket Internet. Finery designs all of its offerings in-house and prices its collection of the 150 to 200 items that it produces between £40 and £250.
Raithatha said: “We realised there was a gap in the market for women who wanted quality designed clothes between the high street and designer.” Downie, who is considered to be amongst the most influential women in British fashion, said the inspiration to start Finery came with the desire to provide both quality and design at accessible price points, according to The Telegraph.