In November the brand secured $40 million in funding to help better position them for growth. This funding will be used to enhance MeUndies’ product design, production, distribution approach, along with an expansion plan in the brick-and-mortar retail sector. The demand for loungewear in the pandemic gave MeUndies a competitive advantage, that will now allow them to successfully dive into physical channels.
“For the consumer, the brick-and-mortar experience is the most complete manifestation of a brand’s personality. It allows people to see, feel, live and breathe the brand. The pandemic has made it even more important for brands to have an omnichannel presence, and one of the things we’ll focus on this year is creating a distribution strategy that allows us to share our products and brand with even more people, wherever and however they choose to shop,” said Jonathan Shokrian, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at MeUndies.
With nearly one million followers across MeUndies’ social media platforms, it’s likely that those individuals will translate into physical transactions. The company has already hosted pop-up shops as its initial foray into traditional retail. Now, they are looking for something a little more permanent.
MeUndies has made a continuous effort to keep constant freshness within their offerings, by coming out with new weekly prints and partnerships. Offering these marketing efforts in a physical setting will allow the brand to test out experiential elements and stray away from the frictions that often arise with e-commerce.
MeUndies is one of the many direct-to-consumer brands with plans to venture into the brick-and-mortar space. Today’s landscape continues to prove the resilience of retail – with successful financial results, and the idea that consumers crave and need physical stores. The cost of acquisition, along with the frictions of e-commerce prove that the convenience and reliability of a physical setting often makes the most sense.
Not only that, but high marketing costs have become an issue for DTC brands. Brands such as Casper and Chewy were spending millions each year for ad spend before they opened physical stores. Both of these brands are now partnering with big box stores, placing their products in thousands of markets, beyond just an Instagram feed. There’s no doubt that digital has become a crowded space for e-commerce, making it difficult to stand out.
“They started to realize that even despite the pandemic — the pandemic definitely slowed everybody’s plans down — that brick-and-mortar stores hold just some unique value that is near impossible for them to gain just through kind of a digital footprint,” said Tyler Higgins, leader of the retail practice at AArete.
Brick-and-mortar stores have become a key part of retailer’s efforts to build their brands and bring in higher traffic levels. By opening physical locations in high-density markets, they are targeting a larger portion of consumers and creating a brand experience surrounding their products. This gives shoppers the ability to touch products in person and bring them home that same day.
The future of a post-pandemic world is looking brighter. This year brands will be taking their growth initiatives to the next level – taking advantage of brick and-mortar and its monumental role in retail.
“There’s a lot of discussion that retailers, including DTC brands, are going to be stepping on the accelerator in the middle to end of this year to focus on stores getting opened in 2022. We anticipate that they are going to be expanding at pre-pandemic levels,” said Ben Lazzareschi, Executive Vice President of Retail at JLL.
MeUndies is a Los Angeles–based underwear and loungewear company best known for its softer-than-soft basics. Founded in 2011, MeUndies disrupted the underwear industry when it launched the first online underwear subscription. Through the years, the brand has inspired a passionate community of undie-obsessed individuals with its bold, creative prints and mission to fuel authentic self-expression.
Today, MeUndies has sold more than 16 million pairs of underwear. It continues to redefine the subscription market by evolving the transactional subscription model to a membership centered on community and inclusion. Through its MeUndies Gives program, the brand supports nonprofit organizations that share its mission and leads in practices of sustainable and ethical manufacturing and workplace diversity and equity.
The innovative direct-to-consumer brand offers multiple purchasing options, including singles, packs and matching pairs in sizes XS to 4XL as well as a monthly membership subscription. MeUndies opened its first flagship store in Los Angeles in 2018.