NEW YORK — Tracy Reese is redoubling its Internet efforts.
This story first appeared in the February 6, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The e-commerce site, relaunching today, “will be our number-one door and flagship in the country in 12 to 18 months,” said Karen Castellano, chief executive officer of T.R. Designs.
The contemporary brand’s redesigned site has a slew of new features geared toward making the merchandise look more tempting and shopping easier. There’s a colorful homepage with tabs for Tracy’s World, about the designer’s influences and inspirations; Reese’s Pieces; a blog, Shop by Pattern, with styles sorted by Reese’s prints, and cross-selling suggestions.
“Before, the Web site didn’t give you the experience of the brand,” Castellano said. “We’re providing a glimpse into Tracy’s world and vision. We also wanted to segment the Tracy Reese and Plenty brands. On the old site, you almost couldn’t tell the difference between them. They have a different expression.” It’s now possible to shop Tracy Reese and Plenty separately while checking out in a single transaction.
With just a few cosmetic upgrades tested ahead of the relaunch, e-commerce leapt 600 percent over last year. Traditionally, e-commerce as a percentage of total business has run in the low-single digits, Castellano said.
The retooled Web site will allow Tracy Reese to capture more data on consumer preferences and locations, which will facilitate retail expansion. “Part of our master plan is opening new stores,” Castellano said. “We’ve made improvements to the Web site and improvements in running our retail business. We’re turning around our performance to justify opening stores on Madison Avenue and the Upper West Side.”
Shopping options on the site include scanning the look book or scouring the brand’s editorial press. Customization will be offered at a later date.
Castellano has been working on lining up licensees for home, jewelry and shoes. In the meantime, Reese is partnering with Anthropologie to do an assortment of shoes and home products in the spring. “We have a big business with Anthropologie,” Castellano said. “We’re talking to them about other categories.”
Reese will begin shipping outside the U.S. this summer, starting with Canada and Mexico. “China is exploding,” Castellano said. “We’d love to build our brand awareness. We’re in talks to find a licensee or Chinese distributor. We’ve also noticed from the data that we have a lot of customers in the U.K.”