How ThirdLove Is DominatingTomorrow, online bra brand ThirdLove is opening its first retail store, a temporary pop-up in Manhattan that will run through the end of the year. Fast-growing startups like ThirdLove have technology bred into their bones, and it's exciting to see how the company is disrupting the bra and underwear industry with its innovative use data, machine learning, and tiered loyalty and referral programs.
The tense rivalry between the companies escalated when ThirdLove ran a full-page ad in The New York Times in November 2018, presented as An Open Letter to Victoria's Secret,” that called out L Brands CMO Ed Razek for demeaning” comments he made about plus-size and transgender models in an interview with Vogue.
Despite ThirdLove cofounder Heidi Zak previously stating she had no intention of moving into brick-and-mortar , she said she eventually came to recognize a physical store's potential to reach new consumers, particularly women who prefer to test particularly fickle garments like bras in real life.
But in 2013, Heidi Zak along with her husband David Spector (both ex-Google execs) set out on a mission to revolutionize that experience - using technology to improve the product in terms of fit and comfort, as well as how bras are delivered to the customer and how customer loyalty is maintained.
Its director of product growth, Desirae Oppong, said while ThirdLove's products speak volumes about the company's understanding of customers' needs, for many women who have been disappointed buying bras in the past, a higher degree of personalisation was needed to gain their trust.
ThirdLove announced on Thursday its first experiential retail store concept, which launches on July 24 and will remain open through the end of 2019, according to a company press release The store will be located at 347 West Broadway in New York City.
Referring to Zak's company, Lori Greeley, a former CEO of Victoria's Secret and now a board member at ThirdLove, said: "In all the years I've worked in the industry, I've never seen such dedication to inclusivity." Greeley worked at Victoria's Secret, first in merchandising and later in the C-suite, for more than two decades.
The timing of ThirdLove's first store may also be opportune as Victoria's Secret continues to struggle with falling sales and persistent criticism that it hasn't kept pace with changing consumer demand, including having more diversity in its products and advertising.
After taking the measurements of millions of women, the company introduced the industry's first half-cup sizing and developed an algorithm using the data collected to match each woman with the right size for them. In the better quality bras, this fit will be consistent enough that you can order a bra in a new style and chances are high it will fit.
The brand's commitment to diversity — offering half-cup bra sizing and promoting body positivity in their advertising — has helped them dethrone the once dominant Victoria's Secret. We're their first love.” This comment was widely—and fairly—interpreted as a jab at ThirdLove, which, as Vogue added in an aside in their interview, has gotten an investment from a former Victoria's Secret CEO.