Online boutique aggregator Shoptiques.com has entered the maternity market.
The site now has 20 shops that sell maternity and nursingwear, which in total will have 500 stockkeeping units from shops located across the U.S. and Canada. The company is also providing a specialized maternity stylist service to provide online advice.
Olga Vidisheva, founder and chief executive officer, said the company decided to enter the space after receiving feedback from existing customers. “We get two or three calls every day from customers who are pregnant. They [shop on our site] and are asking us, ‘Do you have anything that is bump friendly?’ These are women who are in their early thirties who started with Shoptiques and are now having families. I sit next to our customer service department and I hear these calls [every day],” the ceo said.
Vidisheva said that when she first researched the market, she found mostly the major specialty chains, such as A Pea in the Pod. “There are basically the same three places that everyone goes too. That’s why everyone looks alike because they’re all shopping at the same places,” she said.
Vidisheva said she found neighborhood shops that carry maternity apparel, with “many offering nursing clothing so that if one is feeding a baby she doesn’t have to take her entire top off.”
The online aggregator began operations in October 2011. Its operating model provides for a split by percentage of the sales between itself and the boutique owner. The company currently has a platform presence in six countries — the U.S., U.K., France, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands — although the maternity options will likely be expanded more fully in the U.S. and Canada before eyeing expansion overseas.
The site has more than 5,000 boutiques, and members have grown to more than one million consumers reached on a monthly basis. Vidisheva said her company is profitable.