Last year, Nordstrom, the department store chain, spent $180 million (in stock) to acquire online flash fashion site HauteLook to get a foot in the door into this burgeoning online fashion category.
And now, they’re partnering with another exclusively online fashion company—Bonobos.
Dealbook reports that web-driven men’s clothing brand Bonobos will get $16.4 million in cash and more than 100 stores to sell its clothes, while Nordstrom will get gain expertise in how to interact with customers online.
“We’ve been thinking about where growth is going to come from across all retail over the next 10 years,” said Jamie F. Nordstrom, the head of Nordstrom.com and the great-grandson of the company’s founder. “And certainly square-footage growth is not where that growth is coming from.”
It’s another example of how traditional so-called “brick and mortar” retail is becoming more and more comfortable integrating an online and offline shopping experience.
"We understand there are people who still want to touch and feel clothing before they purchase,” says Andy Dunn, founder and CEO of Bonobos in a statement, “We realized we needed help expanding beyond our web-only roots. Nordstrom is the leader in retail customer service and they are incredibly innovative. We admire their leadership team and feel lucky to be in business with them."
It seems like the perfect match, as both brands are known for their customer-centric approach to retailing—one with expertise in the online world, the other expert in dealing with customers face-to-face.
Reportedly, Nordstrom plans to increase its e-commerce spend from a projected $140 million this year, to almost $1 billion in five years.
For its part, Bonobos brings a digital native approach to marketing, and demonstrated strength in engaging an audience online—not just in a transactional sense, but in brand building as well.
Launched in 2007, Bonobos has been known for their flattering-to-the-male physique menswear line. Bonobos at Nordstrom will be the first time the brand is available in-store and online outside Bonobos.com and the company's New York City showroom store. Plans with Nordstrom are for two product lines of Bonobos to be sold: the Washed Chinos and the Bonobos Weekday Warriors. The brand will launch at twenty of Nordstrom's full-line stores and within the Men's Shop on Nordstrom.com.