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Michael Kaplan, cofounder and chief executive officer of Fashion to Figure Stores, warned brands that they shouldn’t “throw out the store” when embracing digital.
“You have to continue to invest in in-store growth and use technology to leverage and evolve the e-commerce model,” Kaplan said, adding that while encouraging cross-channel shopping is important, it’s not about being in every channel. “You have to commit to key areas, measure them and change what you do quickly.”
Kaplan, great-grandson of Lena Bryant who founded plus-size clothing chain Lane Bryant, cofounded Fashion to Figure in 2002 as an online retailer. He said the company was the answer to fast fashion for the plus-size category, where sizes start at 12. The retailer now has 13 physical doors.
“The e-commerce landscape has changed everything. We’re seeing points of pressure in competition,” Kaplan said of the site, which originally didn’t offer free shipping and returns, but was pushed by Amazon to change that policy.
Fashion to Figure’s primary digital focus is on its mobile site. Kaplan said the company is committed to mobile and evolving the shopping experience on this channel, as the mobile device is often the consumer’s primary one.