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Chris Burch wants to get personal at C. Wonder.
This story first appeared in the July 23, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The quickly growing brand relaunched its Web site, cwonder.com, Monday, revamping back-end operations, in particular, and adding the Monogram Shop, a section dedicated to the monogramming of nearly 60 products.
According to Burch, the Monogram Shop was the most “critical” to the redesign and cwonder.com’s key point of differentiation — especially with the holiday season approaching. Consumers can monogram anything from cardigans, polos and jeans, to jewelry, nylon totes, cheese boards, plates and even a wine stopper. The process takes two weeks and costs an additional $10.
Less than two years old, the brand has 13 permanent stores, four summer pop-up shops and an additional nine doors slated to open by yearend. Twenty units are scheduled to open in 2014, with half of those located outside the U.S.
But Burch is keenly focused on the digital world.
“If I could have 75 percent of the business online, I’d be happy, but that won’t happen,” Burch said, seated on a couch in his office in New York.
He said the stronger the online business the retailer can maintain, the better. Already about a quarter of the brand’s revenue comes from e-commerce via its own Web site.
Burch said he wants to connect the experience at the store with the feel of the Web site, adding, for instance, the new blog Inside the C. “We weren’t coordinated on all levels,” he said. “We want to fulfill the front end and execute on the back end. We listen to consumers.”
Burch is chief executive officer of Burch Creative Capital and sold a 10 percent stake in C. Wonder to investment giant Fidelity earlier this year.
Aesthetically, the new cwonder.com doesn’t look much different from the old cwonder.com — as the majority of upgrades took place on the back end. A new feature available on the site developed by Hybris and Acquity is $25 next-day shipping (the default is ground shipping for $8.50). The site is also able to accept electronic and physical gift cards and features video on product pages and customer reviews.
“We wanted more sticky content,” he said of the blog, designed by Frank Collective. It’s currently run by an in-house team of four that also works on content for C. Wonder’s social media presence across platforms.
Burch said mobile will be a key focus in 2014, but before the interview was done, he backed up and decided he might tackle mobile even earlier to meet a growing demand from consumers shopping on multiple devices.
C. Wonder has had its share of drama over its short life.
Burch was accused by his ex-wife Tory Burch of knocking off her brand. The two settled a pair of lawsuits in December, clearing the way for C. Wonder to press on. He declined to comment on whether he’s selling more of his stake in Tory Burch.