Soma has a new look and a new president.
Mary van Praag, most recently chief executive officer of Perricone MD, joined the company in September and was tasked with overseeing the execution of a new store prototype.
Soma has redesigned its Polaris Fashion Place store in Columbus, Ohio, to be more sophisticated and feminine. The team has increased the size of the fitting rooms, installed iPads to help customers locate inventory, whether online or in store, and set up an appointment for a bra fitting. There’s also new fit library installation where the customer is able to interact with Soma’s proprietary bra technology.
“We are very open to learn new things from this prototype,” said van Praag. “We are open to testing and trying new things for the future.”
Soma, which has 291 boutiques in the U.S., was introduced in 2004. The business has been built on solution-oriented innovation within the sleep and lounge category. Foundations, which include bras, underwear and shapewear, is the top-selling category. The company recently introduced Cool Nights sleepwear, which keeps the wearer cool while sleeping.
As of now there are no new stores set to open or concrete plans for redesigns, but van Praag emphasized how important the brick-and-mortar experience is to Soma’s business.
“We are going to be where consumers expect us to be,” said van Praag. “But when it comes to bra fit, most people want to interact and engage, and our associates go through a lot of training to take into account your body and shape.”
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