Online menswear retailer and subscription service startup Frank & Oak is opening two new retail stores, including one pop-up shop coming to Toronto tomorrow (something it’s experimented with before) and one permanent location that opened in Montreal last week. The clothing subscription and direct sales ecommerce site moves closer to becoming a more traditional retailer in some kind of weird, backwards-through-time-and-trends move, but whatever it’s doing appears to be working – the startup revealed to TechCrunch that it has now hit 1 million total members, which represents 500 percent year-over-year growth.
Those members aren’t just single signups, either, who go away and never use the service. 56 percent of the company’s buyers are repeat customers, and on average those active users buy once every couple of months, or more mathematically, around 6.6 times per year. 65 percent of those who make a purchase end up making another within two months time. Around 20 percent of all of the site’s paid business comes through mobile (which also accounts for 27 percent of its total traffic, including window shoppers). People who buy on mobile tend to spend 60 percent more than those who just use the desktop.
This push into physical retail solves one of the few remaining hurdles Frank & Oak and other online clothing startups have when it comes to getting users to go through with their purchase: sizing. Brick and mortar means try-on is available, which is still much more convenient than allowing shoppers to order something with no strings attach to try on at home and then send back (Frank & Oak has offered this since launch to Hunt Club members).
The pop-up shop Frank & Oak is running in Toronto is located in the trendy Queen West shopping district, where it should attract plenty of hipsters eager to part with some cash between the official public opening tomorrow and January 12, when it’s set to close. Frank & Oak previously launched a pop-up shop in Toronto at the Drake Hotel, to premiere their line of athletic clothing, and they’ve held public events before to demo their clothing in one-off settings. Continued growth is the aim now, as it’ll be hard for Frank & Oak to keep up its current pace while also keeping overhead manageable. Retail could actually help, by pushing the service beyond the realm of the tech savvy and into the world of the everyday consumer.