November 1, 2012
How often have you wandered into your favorite neighborhood clothing store only to find it empty, the owner sitting idly in the corner?
TripleThread, a Los Angeles startup out of Science Inc., launches today to drive more business to clothing boutiques. It finds customers who want monthly shipments of clothing and accessories, then sends their information to boutiques that fit their style.
This model could help eliminate the waste that inevitably happens at small stores. Rather than sit around doing nothing, salespeople can spend their time creating a personalized shipment of items for TripleThread customers – and hone their personal stylist skills. They can use inventory that isn’t selling well, which would otherwise get put on the discount rack or taken off the shelves. And TripleThread handles the details, giving iPads to stores and paying for shipping costs.
Also, TripleThread staunchly avoids discounts. Boutiques run on a thin profit margin, says founder Allan Jones, and many can’t afford to sell for less. Some are “chains” of two or three stores, and offering discounts can make their clothing seem less valuable.”
Tons of startups are offering monthly subscription boxes lately – from stationery to women’s products to health products. Science Inc. has already backed Dollar Shave Club, which sends monthly razor deliveries. But TripleThread is different, Jones says, because every shipment is different. Boutiques can do what they’re good at: offer friendly, personalized service to every customer. “This isn’t another stuff-in-the-box story,” says Jones.
The startup grew out of Fourth and Grand, a men’s fashion brand that Jones founded. Fourth and Grand works similarly: customers take a style quiz, get assigned a personal stylist, then receive monthly shipments of dress shirts, ties, polos, pants, and cardigans. As with TripleThread, you return anything you don’t want and pay for the rest.
TripleThread is starting in Los Angeles. So the next time you’re out shopping, you might find your neighborhood boutique owner a little bit busier.
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