Men’s wear brand Mizzen + Main is opening a pop-up store on Thursday in SoHo.
The store, at 452 West Broadway, will be open for six months. While the pop-up is open, the company will offer customers a “trade program” where they can bring in a cotton dress shirt that they no longer want in exchange for $50 off a Mizzen + Main shirt.
The men’s brand has had four pop-ups before, but those were open for either a few days or a few weeks. The last one in Manhattan — two pop-ups were in Manhattan in 2015 and two in San Francisco in 2016 — was at the Refinery Hotel in November 2015.
According to Kevin Lavelle, chief executive officer and founder of the Dallas-based brand, “This will make us better. To be able to interact with our customers will help us understand what is needed to run retail ourselves, and for our retail partners.”
Lavelle said he doesn’t have any grand plans to open a fleet of Mizzen + Main stores. “I don’t ever really see us owning a massive retail presence. We have a great distribution network,” he said.
The brand, which celebrates its fifth birthday this summer, is in nearly 380 doors, mostly individual specialty doors and pro-athlete shops. It is also in 30 Nordstrom doors.
Lavelle said the pop-up, at the intersection of West Broadway and Prince Street, totals about 1,000 square feet and occupies three floors. Mizzen + Main has a partnership with furniture brand Article for the space, which essentially is a showroom for both brands.
“We’ll be showing off all of our new products and existing products, plus some sneak peeks previewing our upcoming collections,” Lavelle said.
And while Lavelle isn’t thinking of building a network of stores, he isn’t ruling out having a few down the road.
The ceo said that with the retail landscape changing the way it has, having the SoHo pop-up for six months will give the company a better read on both consumer behavior — and reaction to new products — and the basics of retail 101 so they can react to the needs of the retailers in its distribution network.
“It might be interesting to open a few more stores or pop-ups. Maybe one or two stores as anchors to test and host events,” Lavelle said.
Should the company go that route, it will at least have the funding in place for the retail expansion. The company in April received a “significant growth investment” from L Catterton’s Growth Fund. Lavelle declined to disclose the amount of the Series C raise.
The idea for an extended pop-up was already in place prior to the L Catterton investment, although Lavelle said when he discussed future growth plans with his new investing partner, he received an “enthusiastic thumbs up,” adding that the private equity firm was supportive about trying out ideas to make decisions on how to scale up.
“It’s about understanding where to make those long bets,” Lavelle said.