After a successful launch in the U.K., EMEA and Asia Pacific last fall, The Outnet is now setting its sights on the U.S.
The luxury discount shopping site owned by Yoox Net-a-porter Group launched in 2009 offering more than 350 women’s designer brands from previous seasons at up to 70 percent off. Last September, the e-tailer said it would add menswear to its offering through local language sites in those countries.
Emma Mortimer, managing director, said the response in those regions “has been really positive across both existing and new customers.” She said the initial launch offered a small edit of brands as a test to gauge customer reactions across different regions. It was followed by a full launch at the end of March.
“We discovered which designers and categories worked and were able to establish a cadence of communication to maximize awareness,” she said.
Now on Tuesday, it’s time to test the waters in America in a similar way. First up will be a selection from around 30 brands including Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Sandro, Rag & Bone and Acne Studios along with new additions Canali and Officine Generale. More than 100 more brands will be added this summer across designer and contemporary categories and will include outerwear, shoes, suits and bags.
Mortimer said that after achieving such success in womenswear for the past decade, “it felt like a natural evolution” to move into men’s. “Knowing there was organic demand from both our customers and brand partners, and with the menswear ‘past-season’ landscape still predominantly being a whitespace across our key markets including the U.S., we felt it was the right time to introduce the new category.”
Mortimer said The Outnet is “at the beginning phases of building our menswear customer base in the U.S.,” but the men’s shopper appears to be similar to the women’s. “We are speaking to an inclusive demographic of shoppers interested in designer fashion that’s timeless and sold at compelling prices.”
In order to get the word out, The Outnet will create “original editorial, a brand marketing campaign and influencer activity,” she said. “Menswear will have a dedicated homepage and drop-down menu, and we are excited for both our new and existing customers to discover our voice in the market. We have one basket at point of purchase, offering customers who shop both menswear and womenswear the ease of an efficient and smooth check-out experience.”
So how big a business can men’s ultimately become for the company?
“We will continue to grow our assortment and increase the brands and categories we stock,” Mortimer said. “The ultimate goal is a 50 percent split between menswear and womenswear, but that will take a few years. While we work toward that, we’ll take the time to understand our new menswear shoppers and how to best serve their needs. This is a very exciting time for us, with the opportunity to diversify and grow The Outnet’s business.”