Jeepers! This is interesting news. Nordstrom led a $16 million investment round in pants online-only retailer Bonobos.
Pretty interesting considering that most retailers are investing heavily in their online presence, as traditional bricks & mortar retailing business models feel the heat from show rooming & online cost savings. Surprisingly, here’s a traditional online-only (with one minor NYC location exception) brand going into bricks & mortar.
Most of the articles I read about the investment announcement cites that Bonobos was looking to extend their reach to the traditional/physical retail consumer, since there are still many people who like to try on pants before they buy them. I totally get this, because lord knows I have a hard enough finding pants that will fit me – I don’t dare buy them online.
I also appreciate that Bonobos developed a wildly successful business exclusively online, and now that they are well established, it’s natural that they would want to test traditional retail in a low-risk sort of way. Bonobos will be available in only 20 Nordstrom stores initially.
I’m curious though if whether or not you’ll see any opposite residual effect from the partnership whereby you’ll start to see select/strategic Nordstrom items available through Bonobos.com?
I’m still convinced a new retail/online hybrid shopping experience is imminent. Mark my words.