An old-school style of selling is resonating with the tech-obsessed shopper in Silicon Valley.
Trunk shows, which still exist, are typically associated with the archetypal Ladies Who Lunch. But Anna Lecat, the chief executive officer of Les Lunes, a men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and underwear line made from bamboo jersey fabrics, has tinkered with the format to appeal to the star-up set’s penchant for networking and self-promotion.
“From the start our company has been extremely customer-focused. Our design team spends a lot of time with customers to understand their lifestyle, needs and desires,” said Lecat. “The events started as a way to connect with them, and grew into these fun opportunities for all to connect and shop in a relaxed, friendly environment.”
On a weekly basis Lecat, who launched Les Lunes in 2011 and has a background in sourcing and manufacturing, holds events, sometimes in larger venues and other times in client’s homes, which include food, drink, a runway show that highlights real men and women wearing the merchandise — an emcee offers up inspiring facts about each model — and a shopping area where associates style women in the collection, which is priced from $60 to $245, and women can purchase pieces from the line. It is shipped to their house or office on the next day.
“We started out with lots of inventory but our customer said she doesn’t like carrying bags,” said Lecat.
Experience has been top of mind for many retailers trying to reinvigorate business and give customers a reason to shop in store. According to Lecat, these events, which are free to attend, usually result in sales of $10,000 to $20,000 and currently account for 10 percent of Les Lunes’ sales, but Lecat is hoping to grow that number.
She’s expanding the concept to different cities — she currently holds parties in Boston and Chicago and plans on throwing events in New York City — and bringing it to a brick and mortar format.
Last month Les Lunes operated a temporary concept store with jewelry brand KTD Jewelers on Union Street in San Francisco, where Lecat said seven out of 10 customers that walked in the shop purchased something from the line. Lecat is currently scouting permanent store locations in the San Francisco Bay area that will, similar to Bonobos, hold very little inventory but have the space to accommodate Les Lunes shopping events.