Piperlime.com has decided women cannot live by shoes and handbags alone.
The footwear e-tailer launched in 2006 by Gap Inc. will begin selling apparel in mid- to late August, initially offering about 65 brands, from Juicy Couture to the less widely distributed Riller & Fount. There will also be an extensive denim offering from 14 brands such as AG Adriano Goldschmied, Rich & Skinny, Joe’s Jeans, Work Custom Jeans and Seven for All Mankind.
“We’re growing very rapidly, and our growth is significantly outpacing the industry,” said Jennifer Gosselin, vice president and general manager of Piperlime.com. “We have millions of very fashion-involved customers. Apparel was clearly the place we should be going.”
Nor is Piperlime.com stopping at apparel. “Jewelry is a category we’re considering, and we’ll continue evaluating categories as we go,” Gosselin said. “We will follow the customer. Other categories are not out of the question.”
Piperlime.com carries over 200 brands of shoes and handbags, which were launched last year. The brand surpassed the 1 million customer mark earlier this year. In addition, Piperlime sits next to other Gap brands such as Athleta, Banana Republic and Gap on its ecommerce platform, which receives millions of customers a day. “The growth potential is significant." she said. "We’re balancing out what Gap Inc. offers, in terms of the house of brands, to provide a destination where [a consumer] can find unique pieces.”
Gap Inc. doesn’t break out figures for its online businesses. Overall, Gap Inc. direct grew 14 percent in 2008, versus 4 percent for the industry, Gosselin said.
Piperlime.com apparel will be presented with headlines such “Comfy and Cute,” “Fall’s Hottest Hits” and “Rachel’s Picks.” “Rachel” is Rachel Zoe, the celebrity stylist whom Piperlime has enlisted as guest editor, a continuing role. “She puts together looks that are on-trend and accessible,” said Jennifer Olsen, senior director of marketing and creative. “People love shopping by headline.” The positioning is “magazine and strong editorial. We looked at the competitive set and there was an opportunity for a strong fashion point of view.”
“It will be a boutique experience with a much broader assortment than a brick-and-mortar store,” Gosselin said, adding the site will also offer lesser-known brands such as Red Engine, Civil Smith and Tucker. “We’re differentiating by offering more discovery brands and the way we edit our assortments.”
The customer Piperlime.com is targeting customers 25 to 45 years old.
Heather Archibald, senior director of merchandising, Piperlime women’s apparel, said the site is being sensitive to price and there will be a section with items under $100. On the high end, leather jackets will be priced from $340 to $750. Key items include KAIN silk T-shirts for $88 and $92; Paul & Joe’s Sister flutter-sleeve blouse for $168; a Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent faux fur vest for $325, and Seven For All Mankind distressed jeans for $225.
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