NEW YORK — Club Monaco is getting its feet wet in the world of e-commerce, with plans to dive in head first later this year.

This story first appeared in the October 6, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In what will be the first time the brand has ever been available online, the retailer has partnered with Shopbop for its e-commerce launch, and a capsule collection for fall and holiday will make its debut on Oct. 13.

“This came from a pure consumer demand. We get daily requests for online shopping and we want to satisfy our customers and bring it to them in a very special way,” said Ann Watson, Club Monaco’s vice president of marketing and communications.

With 63 stores in North America and more than 100 points of distribution worldwide, Club Monaco’s decision to collaborate with Shopbop was a strategic one, as the two share the same demographic and psychographic. “They [Shopbop] truly are the authoritative voice in the contemporary market for our young consumer base,” Watson said.

According to Shopbop’s fashion director, Kate Ciepluch, partnering with brands that don’t naturally wholesale is a way to differentiate the Web site from competitors.

The 30-piece collection was chosen by Ciepluch and ranges in price from $24 for wool thigh-high socks to $1,100 for a shearling coat. In a concerted effort to beef up its selection of “sharp-priced items that a girl can potentially wear to the office,” offerings also include tailored trousers that start at $119 and a camel-colored, men’s wear-inspired blazer that retails for $239. With a continued focus on the digital sphere, Club Monaco is co-hosting a viral tweet-up with Shopbop to promote the collection at its 57th Street store in Manhattan the evening before the launch. Online editors and prominent bloggers are expected to attend with a goal of engaging fans via Twitter and Facebook and uploading Twitpics throughout.

“The social media route speaks to our customer. It’s viral and when you work with tweeting, you already have an engaged consumer. Even though we aren’t fully engaged yet, we’ve been very strategic about this the past six months,” Watson said, citing a recent blogger event and a collaboration with blogger and photographer Garance Doré, who shot a look book for one of the brand’s fall collections.

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