Plus size etailer cracks bricks and mortar

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Australian plus size fashion etailer Harlow will make its move into bricks-and-mortar.

Harlow will launch pop-up stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane from next month in a bid to engage with its customers face to face.

Harlow co-founder Kerry Pietrobon said that despite the opportunities presented in the online space, introducing physical store concepts will align with shopping habits of its target market.

“We have found that not enough of these women are comfortable buying online, because each of them has a differing body shape, and with the added issue of sizes not being consistent from brand to brand, they prefer to try items on, especially the first time they buy from you.”

As such Pietrobon believes that the pop-ups will boost the brand's engagement with customers and enhance its presence in the market.

“Over time we’ve realised that to flourish we need to have not only a strong online presence but a physical one as well.

“The internet has not been the salvation that direct to public designers were promised 5 years ago.

“The Harlow team by popular demand have ventured into bricks and mortar pop-ups which allow them to offer clients the full retail experience.

“In the past pop-ups have predominant been used to clear old stock, Harlow are taking this concept and instead using it to showcase their greatest and latest in a true “boutique retail experience”

Pietrobon also said that Harlow has also tried to break into the wholesale space, but believes it will not be an ideal fit for the business which is determined to maintain the manufacturing of its garments in Australia.

“Most stores that cater for the 14+ market are vertical retailers or are not in line with our values, of quality timeless pieces in limited quantities, but rather work on the faster, cheaper fashion.

“We have also found that when we are wholesaling that our offer can become watered down to fit within what the stockist and their current customer is spending there $ on, their buys are safe, which then rubs onto our design and development process, pulling back our creativity to only what is safe, which is never a good thing for a brand.”

Harlow will launch its Melbourne pop-up on Smith St on May 4-8, Sydney's William St in Paddington from May 19-22 and move onto Brisbane in early June.

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