RETAIL HYBRID: Of Mercer thinks it has the answer to retail’s ongoing quest to elevate the store experience so that it’s less commerce and more experiential.
The e-tailer, which sells its take on modern career staples for women in their late 20s to early 40s, will open its first store the second week of October in New York.
The 2,500-square-foot space, located at 42 East 21st Street, will function as a store, headquarters and working lounge area that would also serve as a venue to host events and other networking opportunities for shoppers. The space open to the public will total roughly 1,300 square feet.
“Our idea for the store is really to create a richer shopping experience that’s targeted at our clients, a working woman,” said cofounder Emelyn Northway.
The company’s pricing ranges from $95 to $245 and includes items such as a three-quarter length sleeve dress made of a blend of Italian wool and elastane for $175 and a $245 blazer with jacquard pocket and neck detailing. All of the company’s products are made in New York.
Of Mercer has held pop-ups and trunk shows since its start, which has helped the online brand with conversion, according to cofounder Dorie Golkin Smith.
“In general, it is possible to survive online,” Golkin Smith said. “I think for brands like ours it’s important to have an in-person experience so they can really understand who we are. Some companies are a little bit more straightforward or don’t require that in-person [experience].”
The company, which declined to provide sales figures, generates the majority of its sales in the U.S., although it ships internationally.
Golkin Smith and Northway, who met while attending Wharton Business School, are currently the company’s sole owners.