Business

Nordstrom confirms purchase of online men’s shopping site Trunk Club

Trunk Club CEO Brian Spaly and Nordstrom department store confirmed yesterday evening that Spaly’s men’s apparel and personal shopping startup has been purchased by Nordstrom. The purchase amount is undisclosed at this time.

Trunk Club is an e-commerce company that offers a personal styling service for men.

Retailers across the country, including Nordstrom and competitor Bloomingdale’s have been looking for new ways to target men. Purchasing Trunk Club, which sells about 100 men’s apparel brands on its website, is one way Nordstrom can try to capitalize on a growing men’s market online and offline.

More large retailers are starting to devote square footage in their stores to men’s wear. And online, clothing sites like Gilt Groupe and Net-a-Porter have started spinoffs aimed at men.

Trunk Club, a five-year-old website with a staff of 250 fashion consultants (among other employees), puts customers in touch with a personal stylist. The stylist interviews customers over the phone and asks about personal tastes, measurements, and clothing preferences. The company then sends the customer a trunk of clothing options, such as shoes, blazers, slacks, and dress shirts. Customers can keep and pay for as many items as they like and return the rest to Trunk Club free of charge within 10 days.

Trunk Club currently has showrooms in Washington, Chicago, and Dallas, with plans to open another showroom in Los Angeles in August. The showrooms give men the opportunity to try clothing on in person.

“We have more than 1,500 talented personal stylists at Nordstrom as well in our stores,” said Erik Nordstrom in a statement on the news.

“This complimentary service is an important and successful volume driver for us that our customers appreciate. What Trunk Club does adds to our service capabilities – we can learn from them about what they call ‘assisted commerce’ so we can continue to meet the evolving needs of customers.”

With the merger, the company plans to add to the 100 brands it currently carries by making lines available at Nordstrom to customers. Trunk Club customers will also have access to the tailors available at most Nordstrom department stores.

The Trunk Club purchase is the latest in a series of online shopping investments Nordstrom has made in recent years. In 2012, Nordstrom invested in Bonobos, and online men’s clothing brand which Spaly co-founded. In 2011, the department store bought HauteLook, a flash sale shopping site.

Nordstrom has also invested in Wantful, a gift-giving service no longer in operation. It is also a limited partner in the e-commerce focused venture fund Forerunner Ventures.


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