ORLANDO, Fla. — ThirdLove is getting even more physical. The digital lingerie start-up, which opened its first brick-and-mortar store in New York over the summer, has plans to open more doors in the coming year.
“Retail could be accretive to the overall business and the overall brand,” said David Spector, cofounder and co-chief executive officer of ThirdLove, during a fireside chat at the annual ICR consumer and retail conference here.
That’s a significant departure for the digital native lingerie brand that Spector cofounded with his wife, Heidi Zak. The brand uses data to outfit shoppers rather than fitting rooms and is designed for women who hate to shop in real life.
“Who wants to go to the store?,” Spector said. “Especially for a bra.”
But Spector conceded that there are some advantages to in-store shopping. For one, it allows consumers to experience the brand in a way that can’t be replicated online. It also increases the average order value.
“You see it every day,” Spector explained. “You end up buying more, trying more. You might try that style that you never would have worn [because] you associated it with younger women and you’re older. Hopefully, there are really good sales associates to help you.”
In addition to the New York store, Spector said ThirdLove has plans to open a handful of other stores in 2020, although he is tight-lipped about which markets or just how many. The stores could also potentially benefit mall owners, if placed in larger shopping centers, because they would attract more female shoppers.
Meanwhile, the private company continues to gain momentum in the intimates apparel space. The six-year-old firm passed the million-dollar sales mark in 2015. Four years later, Spector said ThirdLove had multiple days with million-dollar revenue status. It is now also the third largest e-commerce intimates apparel brand in the U.S., according to the NPD Group, behind only Victoria’s Secret and American Eagle Outfitters’ Aerie.
“I want to convert everybody. I didn’t fly across the country to not get some new customers,” said Spector, who is based in San Francisco. “There are 150 million American women over the age of 12, roughly. So, how can we get a ThirdLove bra or product in the hands of every single one of them?”
As for ThirdLove’s continued beef with lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret, Spector said, “We only focus on them because they’re in the industry.
“There are many things that they’re doing to themselves that are making it challenging for them to continue to grow and to continue to have an impact,” he continued. “At ThirdLove, we’re just doing something very different.”