MKC Global LLC fancies its online platform a department store of sorts with multiple brands across categories in a single place. The comparison stops there.
“The only similarity [between] the MKC platform and the department store is the product,” said chief executive officer Marisa Kenson. “Everything else is turned on its ear.”
The company’s site sells contemporary clothing from brands such as Splendid, Ella Moss, Naven and Kenson’s own namesake line. It also has about 400 of what it’s calling “MKC retailers” that are selling the same brands, only curating and promoting the pieces they like to their specific customer base.
“The best analogy is that we are an aggregator,” Kenson said. “We aggregate the product and we’re in a shared environment much like technology’s allowed Uber to be in that shared environment [or] Airbnb can take a home and turn it into a hotel. So we take a customer and give her the environment to become an actual retailer and be an aggregator to sales.”
It’s crowdselling, Kenson said more simply.
That roster of retailers the company’s been working with in beta is projected to grow to 4,000 by the end of this year, according to Kenson. The ceo also said the seven brands currently sold on the platform will come to represent 15 percent of the total number of lines on the site by the end of the second quarter.
They’re big projections for the San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based company, which said it’s raised an undisclosed seed round and is now looking to raise more capital. Kenson declined to share the company’s financial projections for the year.
The ceo brings more than 30 years of private-label experience to MKC, having worked on private label for retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart and The Limited. MKC was born out of a response to wanting to successfully break though the noise of online and reach the customer. To do that, Kenson believes, amassing a web of sellers who can have personal relationships with customers is the way to go.
“We have identified that the Internet is such a crowded space,” she said. “That’s why you have darlings like Nasty Gal having problems because it’s a crowded space. Once you have a URL, you’re literally competing with the world.”
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