DOOR GROWTH: Retailer Torrid is set to open a store on State Street in Chicago as it pushes for growth this year. The 3,000-square-foot store opens April 8.
“Torrid’s expanding in every direction, meaning all different types of real estate as well as e-commerce growth,” Hot Topic Inc. chief executive officer Lisa Harper told WWD earlier this year.
Torrid’s City of Industry, Calif.-based parent Hot Topic — which also runs the Hot Topic chain specializing in licensed pop culture apparel and other merchandise — will add as many as 60 Torrid stores in the U.S. this year to its current stable of 298.
The chain originally launched as a plus-size version of Hot Topic. It has since evolved and developed its first vertically produced line in August 2012. It’s also boosted marketing efforts with a focus on positioning the brand as a strong contender in the contemporary segment. Its target customer is a 25-year-old whose style runs akin to what’s offered at an Express or Guess store, Harper said.
The company this year brought on models Georgina Burke and Philomena Kwao to be the faces of Torrid.
“We really feel like there’s an open field here,” Harper said. “Plus-size has always been kind of a second thought in many retailers where they add on a size range or something like that but not really focused on that core customer and understanding the needs and the fit for that customer, and so we think we have enviable white space in the market that reacts and responds to the demands of this customer.”