In an effort to provide more services to its discerning 40-year-old-plus target customers, luxury designer apparel Web site Halsbrook.com is launching Halsbrook on Approval, a try-on at home service.
“Our goal is to make shopping as easy as possible,” said Halsey Meyer Schroeder, Halsbrook.com’s founder. “You have to buy things to try them on. We wanted to give women another option without putting all the charges on a credit card.”
Halsbrook on Approval allows customers to choose up to three items and put them in their cart. The company puts a temporary charge of $1 per item on the customer’s credit card, so it has the card information on record.
Customers can try the items for seven days and are charged only for the items they keep. If they decide not to keep anything, Halsbrook pays for return postage. Schroeder said the average Halsbrook.com order is $460. “Free shipping is important at these price points,” she said.
“Our customer is used to touching and feeling things,” Schroeder said. “This lowers the barrier of getting product into their hands. We think this will increase brand loyalty.”
Schroeder hopes customers will use the service to try out new designers. “We have the right designers that fit a woman’s body,” she said. “Everything is put together in outfits and styled in an approachable way.”
Designers on the site include Armani Collezioni, MaxMara, Piazza Sempione, Alberta Ferretti and Shamask. Schroeder is always adding new resources such as accessories designers Diana Broussard and Serpui Marie.
The Web site in moving in a lifestyle direction. Halsbrook.com offers trip itineraries and matching clothing and accessories for destinations such as Bhutan, St. Andrews Links in Scotland and the Mii Amo Spa in Sedona, Az.
Schroeder was a 27-year-old Harvard Business School graduate when she launched Halsbrook.com in September 2012. She got the idea for the company after “listening to my mother talking with friends about how they couldn’t find anything to buy online. There was a lot of contemporary, but it was a bit too flashy and forward.”
The company, which has a full distribution center in New Jersey, sends “hand written notes with all packages,” Schroeder said. “We follow up with 100 percent of customers.”
Halsbrook’s repeat rate is 40 percent. The gross margin rate is 43 percent and return rate is 35 percent. “We’re not profitable yet, but it’s definitely on the horizon,” Schroeder said of the company, which is privately funded.
“It’s fun to launch something new and different,” said Schroeder, referring to Halsbrook on Approval. “Let see if it gets some new people through the door.”