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Published: 2 Apr 2014

Pure-play E-tailers Open Physical Stores

Tucker Blair, BHLDN

A growing number of online-only retailers are expanding into bricks-and-mortar locations, acknowledging the benefits of having multiple physical and digital brand touchpoints.

US brand Tucker Blair, which specialises in “bright, preppy needlepoint” unisex accessories, has opened a showroom in Boston after six years exclusively online. Pushing Tucker Blair's multi-channel credentials, the 1,200 sq ft space also serves as a multi-purpose brand venue for fashion events and as the company’s HQ, giving it a strategic foothold in uniting physical and digital commerce.

“We are at heart a company at the intersection of fashion and technology,” says CEO Matthew Tara. “Last year, for example, we became one of the first companies to partner with [US on-demand transportation network] Uber to offer same-day delivery.”

US bridal brand BHLDN, also previously a pure-play e-tailer, is building its tangible presence through a series of concession spaces within US lifestyle brand Anthropologie stores. Both brands are owned by parent group Urban Outfitters. And BHLDN has opened two standalone stores in Chicago and Houston.

BHLDN units are differentiated from Anthropologie by mannequins in bridalwear, separate lighting and flooring, with dedicated fitting rooms for stylist appointments. 

The sister brands will buddy up via four more Anthropologie stores in 2014 in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. and Seattle.

For more on how brands are bridging digital and physical retail, see our reports E-tail Gets a Physical Presence, our Anywhere Retailing Industry Trend and The Omni-Channel Store Space and Data Tracking, both in our Future of the Store Industry Trend.