Frank & Oak Plans To Open Six Brick-And-Mortar Stores In The US

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Frank & Oak, an online retailer of men’s apparel and goods, is today announcing plans to launch six different long-term pop-up shops across the United States.

Where? Well, it seems that’s up to consumers.

The company is launching a campaign that will allow customers to vote (through the Tilt platform) on which markets they’d like Frank & Oak to invest in brick-and-mortar. Options include Manhattan, Brooklyn, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, and Portland, and the six pop-up stores will operate under leases that last at least a year.

This is Frank & Oak’s first step into physical retail in the United States, with the Canadian company having thus far only offered a brick-and-mortar experience in Canadian markets, such as Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa.

“Our approach here is about more than purchase data,” said cofounder and CEO Ethan Song. “We want to hear from the people that we create for, and people don’t shop at brick and mortar locations the same way they do online. Our goal is to create dynamic physical experiences that embody our digital presence.”

The campaign will last from March 26 to April 8, and will let users purchase gift cards for various cities (in whatever amount they’d like) so that the company can gauge interest. Depending on how much credit a user puts on their gift card, Frank & Oak will offer different rewards or gifts, with the top prize ($3,000 or more) including a tote bag, an F&O Hunt Club membership, an invite to the opening party, a dinner with a F&O cofounder, and a tour of the HQ in Montreal.

Though online shopping continues to grow, ecommerce brands are looking for ways to connect to their consumers beyond the mediation of a screen. While brick-and-mortar helps with brand discovery, it also gives more skeptical consumers the chance to see and feel products before they buy. This move by Frank & Oak goes further than simply opening stores, but actually puts the onus on consumers to start up that conversation.

Frank & Oak raised $15 million in Series B funding in November of last year, and has raised a total of $20 million in funding since launch in early 2012, according to Crunchbase.