My-Wardrobe’s first permanent store is acting as a trial for a wider roll out, according to head of ecommerce Matt Henton.
As reported by Drapers on May 21, the etailer is opening a store in Whiteleys shopping centre in Bayswater, West London on June 30. The 1,200 sq ft office and retail space will stock an edited selection of brands and will also act as a click-and-collect hub, letting customers pick up and return products.
The business has also opened a pop-up shop at 15 Floral Street in Covent Garden this week. The 740 sq ft store, open until the end of June, stocks premium brands such as Sea NY, Bruuns Bazaar and Zoe Karssen. It will open a further pop-up shop at 162a Sloane Street, Sloane Square on Tuesday, May 27.
Henton said the company was dipping a “toe in the water” of bricks-and-mortar retailing.
“[The new store] will get us started; we need to get the click-and-collect working and to underpin the mechanics. That will put us in a good position to make a call as to whether we should roll out to a further store network. It’s a six- to nine-month trial, then we’ll make a decision,” he said.
The My-Wardrobe website is also being redesigned and a mobile site will be launched on September 1, in time for London Fashion Week.
“We are moving onto a new platform, but we are working backward – starting with the mobile site and working up to desktop. Mobile is a priority for us right now,” Henton said.
The ecommerce boss, who was appointed three months ago, also said the troubled business was previously “too fashion focused” and needed to work on building the “nuts and bolts” of its site.
“There was no focus on ecommerce – it was a fashion-led business, good at getting PR coverage and throwing parties for designers, but nothing was being done with data collected from the website,” he said.
“That has changed. The data from product searches is being fed back to the buying team now so they can change their buy according to what customers are looking for.”
My Wardrobe fell into administration late last year, as well as being rocked by a wave of departures over the past 12 months including co-founders Andrew and Sarah Curran, chief executive David Worby, trading director Joanna Stephenson and fashion director Carmen Borgonovo.
My-Wardrobe is currently being run by Steven Tucker, a financial backer of the etailer.