Dash wants an identity of its own, apart from that of its famous scene-stealing owners.
Dakota DiSanto, who was recently hired to strengthen the business as director of retail, is trying to do just that. The Kardashian venture has three stores in Los Angeles, New York and Miami. “What I want to focus on is making Dash more than just about the owners so we’re viewed as a serious boutique business,” she said.
That includes launching Dash’s first e-commerce site in time for the holidays, opening a pop-up shop this summer in Southampton, to raise the brand’s visibility with the beach crowd, and opening a store a year, beginning in 2015, in cities such as Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas and Chicago.
DiSanto is also looking for a space in SoHo for Dash, which is located at 19 Spring Street. “Our lease is up in October and we want to relocate,” DiSanto said. “We were toying with the idea of other neighborhoods, but SoHo is really the best place for us.”
Dash’s SoHo opening in 2010 was chronicled by the E! series, “Kim and Kourtney Take New York.” While the show helped expose Dash to New Yorkers and tourists, the store seems to attract more gawkers than actual shoppers.
Asked about the often-heard criticism that Dash’s merchandising is sparse, DiSanto said, “Maybe people expect to see a different kind of store. Maybe they aren’t used to an intimate kind of boutique setting. We have a very good array of merchandise.” Dash’s most popular brands include Alice + Olivia, Torn by Ronny Kobo, Wildfox and the Australian line Stylestalker.
The Web site, which is under construction, “will mirror the stores so it’s viewed as a cohesive brand,” DiSanto said. “I envision it to be a look book and branding tool. We want the brick-and-mortar stores to be at the forefront and the focus of Dash. We’re able to have a better relationship with clients face-to-face.”
DiSanto is using technology to expand Dash’s business. The company recently installed LightSpeed Cloud’s inventory management and point of sale tools. Before that, employees had to manually track inventory and sales. “We’re piloting LightSpeed for iPad, a new app that has not yet launched,” DiSanto said. “We’re testing it in the L.A. location. It’s been really awesome. It allows us to have closer contact with clients. We’re mostly using it for transactions. They keep building things onto it every day.
“We’re not really a part of the show. Dash is its own business,” DiSanto said. “I’m always trying to think of different ways to make it successful.”