Clothing brand American Apparel has formally partnered with startup Postmates to offer consumers on-demand delivery (within the hour) of Basics clothing, which includes standard tees, sweatshirts, body suits, pants, leggings and dresses for all genders. The service will be offered in 79 American Apparel stores throughout the U.S., spanning 31 metropolitan areas. At launch, delivery fees will be $1.99, but Postmates is still determining what the cost for delivery will be after the initial few weeks of the offering.
This official partnership and nationwide launch comes after Postmates and American Apparel tested the program in cities like New York City and San Francisco. By formally partnering with American Apparel, Postmates is able to feature the retailer’s actual, live inventory. Through Postmates Order, a product that launched just a few weeks ago, American Apparel can manage their orders and deliveries via the app and iPad provided by Postmates.
“American Apparel is improving its omni-channel consumer experience via Postmates by becoming their first major fashion retailer to offer ‘on-demand basics’,” American Apparel Chief Digital Officer Thoryn Stephens said. “You’ll be able to receive hoodies, t-shirts, socks and more within a sixty minute delivery window — it’s great for traveling or last-minute needs. For the second phase we’re integrating the experience with RFID for real-time inventory availability.”
Postmates has two kinds of partners — those that use the Postmates API, like Etsy and Starbucks, to offer on-demand delivery services inside their apps, and those whose storefronts live within the Postmates app, like Chipotle, 7-Eleven, Walgreens and, now, American Apparel.
American Apparel is the first official in-app apparel partner for Postmates. It’s also the largest. That said, Postmates recently launched a week-long partnership with clothing brand REVOLVE to deliver festival clothing to people at SXSW in Austin. In September 2014, Postmates teamed up with clothing retailer Everlane to deliver items on-demand in San Francisco as part of a one-month beta program called Everlane Now. Everlane continues to use the Postmates API to power on-demand delivery in San Francisco and New York through its own platform. The goal with adding retail partners is to increase demand on the Postmates platform during off-peak times, so couriers can make as much money as possible, no matter what time of day it is.
In the last few weeks, there’s been a bit of an on-demand apocalypse, with companies either scaling back, changing business models or shutting down. Zirx, for example, is moving away from its on-demand valet service, Instacart has slashed wages for its shoppers and delivery people, and SpoonRocket shut down its platform in the U.S. and sold off its technology to Brazil-based iFood. With that in mind, Postmates is one of the few on-demand companies doing seemingly well these days.
To date, Postmates has raised over $138 million in funding. The company is on track to be profitable sometime next year, Postmates CEO Bastian Lehman said at the Startup Grind conference in February. Meanwhile, Re/Code reported earlier this month, investment bank Qatalyst Partners is apparently working with Postmates to advise it around fundraising or a potential sale.