Online marketplace Garmentory.com is located squarely in the contemporary space — and it’s proving to be a price point that resonates with consumers.
“That’s a big differentiator [for us] — Shoptiques.com is in the lower end and Farfetch.com is above us,” said chief executive officer John Scrofano. “In terms of the consumer profile, they love contemporary boutiques. The consumer that shops at Nordstrom is our core customer.”
Founded in April 2014, the marketplace carries product from nearly 200 stores and 1,000 designers in the U.S. and Canada. Manhattan; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Vancouver; Portland, Ore.; Boston; San Francisco; Nashville, and cities all over Texas are among those with the highest concentration of boutiques on the site.
In the last six months, Garmentory has seen its sales increase fourfold and today closed a seed round of $1.3 million to help fuel growth. The round was led by Seattle-based venture firm Founders’ Co-op with participation from Adam Doppelt and Patrick O’Donnell, founders of Urban Spoon.
Billed as a destination for “indie boutiques and emerging designers,” some of the best performing brands include Black Crane, Rachel Comey and Assembly New York. While the bulk of the marketplace comprises boutiques, there are about 20 designers who sell directly through Garmentory, including Ilana Kohn, who created an exclusive piece for Garmentory (it sold out soon after it hit the site).
Scrofano contended that the site has seen 20 percent growth month-over-month, and nearly doubled the amount of merchants on the site in less than a year.
“As best as we can model Farfetch, our numbers are similar to early Farfetch numbers,” he said, declining to reveal sales figures or projections for the coming year.
For Scrofano, marketplaces hit a sweet spot in the retail sector — and solve a very specific problem in what he called a “very fragmented” category. He explained: A boutique’s customer is typically all the people in a three-mile radius around them. If the shop is unable to move their inventory, they are stuck with it. Scrofano compared this to the resale market and sites such as Poshmark.com or Thredup.com.
“If you have a great handbag that you’re not into anymore, how are you going to find a place to sell it? No one wants to go to the big big marketplace; you don’t want a fashion experience on eBay because you don’t want to shop for fashion on eBay,” Scrofano said.