Bonobos started in 2007, selling flashy men’s apparel online. Now, the New York-based company has scored $55 million in fresh capital — including money from Coppel Capital, Mousse Partners and Nordstrom — to expand the brand in the physical retail world.
The money-losing company plans to open about 30 new stores in the next two years, adding to the 10 it already operates.
The New York Times reports that the Bonobos stores will be used to “prop up” the e-commerce business, since none of the physical stores will carry inventory that can be sold directly to customers. Instead, customers can try on clothes, and then purchase them online.
Bonobos calls these showrooms “Guideshops” — similar to the retail approach of online eyewear retailer Warby Parker.
“You don’t have anyone manning a stockroom or playing defense against changing rooms where customers are dumping inventory in a corner,” CEO Andy Dunn tells the Times. “You don’t have the same folding nightmare or visual presentations nightmare.”
That’s a problem that Seattle-based Hointer — the robot-powered retail company — also is trying to fix.
Nordstrom first invested in Bonobos in 2012, leading a $16.4 million investment. As part of the deal, Nordstrom started carrying the company’s shirts and pants at some stores, as well as on its Web site.
New York’s Bonobos started in 2007 at Stanford with the goal of selling “better-fitting pants over the Internet.”