The period panties brand is debuting the lower-priced Thinx for All collection today at select Target stores nationwide and target.com, and will launch at CVS stores, Urban Outfitters and London Drugs in Canada this spring and summer.
The expansion is part of the brand’s strategy to reach more consumers through a combination of more “approachable” price points and new channels.
“Ninety-eight percent of shoppers purchase their products in the fem-care aisle. So we know we need to be there,” Maria Molland, chief executive officer of Thinx, told WWD. “We’re willing to take the con of not being entirely in control or having all the data [through a wholesale partnership], for the pro of meeting the customer where they are.
“Thinx for All is an extension of the wholesale business,” she continued. “We’re extending the relationship into mass retailers, which is higher volume but at a lower price point.”
Molland added that society at large has become more accepting of period products over the last few years, shedding stigmas around the once unmentionable topic.
“The last major barrier is price,” she said. “Many people think our products are too expensive to try for the first time. We want to offer them something at a more affordable price point. With the lower prices, shoppers are more likely to try new things and then we can migrate them up to the premium collection. We’ll be able to reach more people that way and get into more underwear drawers.”
The functionality and technology is the same in the lower-priced collection — women can bleed right into the products, eliminating the need to buy disposable sanitary pads — the difference is in the selection. The mass retail collection comes in just two colors (black and gray), two absorbencies (moderate and super) and three styles: brief, bikini and high-waisted cotton. The premium collection, by contrast, comes in a variety of color ways, silhouettes, absorbencies and fashion options, including lace and sheer styles. In addition, there are more products to choose from in the premium collection, such as activewear, loungewear and accessories.
The lower-priced products come in sizes XS to XL, in addition to a new plus-size selection, sizes X to 4X, and are $17 each, whereas the premium collection starts at $34 for a pair of cotton briefs.
Thinx’s wholesale business, a $10 million business, includes partnerships for its premium collection with Amazon, the FSA store, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Selfridges and Australian department store David Jones. Molland said Thinx will likely expand the Thinx for All collection into other mass retailers in the future.
“But we don’t want to take on too many retailers without getting it right first,” she said. “Once we have that nailed down we’ll expand to other retailers.
“One of the reasons we decided to partner with Target is that it reaches a lot of moms who shop [for feminine hygiene products] for themselves and their teenage daughters,” Molland added. “And they’re true partners rather than a place to just distribute products. We worked a lot on co-branding and co-marketing together. We wanted to work with companies where it was more of a partnership, as it is with CVS as well.”
Meanwhile, Target is growing its reach among the fashion set as a number of brands compete for space in its stores and online. The list includes luxury lingerie designer Journelle, Levi’s Red Tab products, New Zealand beauty brand Monday Haircare, Ulta Beauty, Priyanka Chopra’s new hair care brand Anomaly and Disney, which opened about a dozen shops-in-shop in select markets in late 2019. Last month, the big box retailer revealed plans for Apple shops-in-shop in 17 Target stores, possibly more in the fall.
“Guests continue to look to Target to discover new brands and we have been a leader in bringing digital-first brands into mass retail across our multicategory portfolio,” Target said in a statement.
The partnership with Thinx, which is also growing rapidly, seems fitting then. In January, the innerwear brand launched a Thinx activewear collection. Thinx now expects its d-to-c business to grow by about 30 percent in 2021, year-over-year, and 200 percent in the wholesale business, generating more than $100 million in revenues.
“We’ve had tremendous growth across the business in the last year,” Molland said. “We’re feeling like we’re riding the wave of consumers getting excited about something new, about period products.”