Everlane has come a long way from selling T-shirts directly to its cult-like following nearly a decade ago.
The company’s transition from an e-commerce brand to a full-fledged retailer has included brick-and-mortar flagship stores, as well as countless pop-ups across the country over the years. But embracing physical sales points hasn’t deterred Everlane from incorporating the minimalist interface it’s become known for.
This weekend, the company is opening its largest shop yet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, joining a legion of retail chains that have forayed into the neighborhood in recent years. The glass facade building features 4,400 square feet of shopping space, lots of Instagram-ready plants and natural light. It’s also the first location with a dedicated men’s floor.
Everlane’s VP of retail, Tara Shanahan, told Observer during Thursday evening’s opening event that the design is meant to mimic the brand’s online shopping experience. “We want to keep it clean and easy for our customers to shop.”
“One of the great things about our website is that it’s direct in helping him and her shop, and we try to keep that ethos in our physical locations as well,” she explained. “So it’s clean, minimalist lines and really clear merchandising and wardrobe options to make the shopping experience easy.”
Everlane’s Brooklyn store also marks the company’s implementation of more software into its shop’s layout, which it has been testing at other locations. Along with the ability to reserve items for pickup through the website, the store’s design features a mobile fitting room reservation system and online shopping tablets throughout the store.
“We’ve taken a look at how we could incorporate technology,” Shanahan said, noting that the new location offers about 20% of Everlane’s online assortment, leaving many only-online items that customers may want to purchase.
“It’s important to us to be able to offer what’s available online to our customers in store, and so we have what’s called ‘endless aisle,’ where we have iPads throughout the store, like in our shoe section and outside the fitting rooms, that give customers the ability to shop our full collection online,” Shanahan explained. From there, shoppers can select what they want and send it to the register, allowing them to check out both in-store and online purchases with one transaction.
And for those who shy away from shopping due to endless fitting room lines, Everlane now offers what it calls “Save My Spot.” The text-to-try-on system, similar to a restaurant reservation app, allows a shopper to reserve a fitting room without waiting around for one to finally open up.
“Our customers are excited to try things on in-store, and as you can imagine, want to spend time in the fitting room trying multiple items,” which typically results in long queues. Shanahan went on to explain the feature is a reaction to Everlane’s Nolita and San Francisco stores sometimes having 20 to 50 minute waits, “and so we wanted to offer a more seamless experience.”
“Our SMS allows us to take their phone number, letting them leave the store to maybe get a coffee or walk around,” she said. “We send them a text about three minutes prior to their room being available and hold their items until they’re back.”
Everlane’s Williamsburg store is now open at 104 N. 6 Street, with launch events going on throughout the weekend.