In the News

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in the news

Leap stores and brands
in the news

As retail stores and malls close, DTC brands attempt to renegotiate leases

The DTC physical retail boom came to a sudden stop this month. Now, the platforms specializing in bringing the brands offline are also figuring out how to get those same brands out of lease commitments and mitigate the impact of Covid-19-related shutdowns . . .​
How D-to-C Brands Are Redefining the Brick-and-Mortar Experience

It’s that time of year when we start seeing new year sales forecasts roll in and determine which brands will and won’t be retail winners. While some “winners” are easier to predict, I believe there will be a twist this year. In 2020, the retail winners will be direct-to-consumer (D-to-C) brands, many of which most consumers are just starting to hear about . . .​
Talking Shop: Why Retail Storefronts Are Needed

As highlighted in Colliers’ Fall 2019 Retail Spotlight Report, the localized physical space of a brick-and-mortar store contributes to the overall experience a consumer has with a brand. Retailers leverage the layout of stores to amplify their merchandising, but the physicality of the store can also provide consumers with a haven in which to make shopping decisions . . .​
This Company Is Helping Digital Brands Break Into Physical Retail

Despite warnings about the demise of brick-and-mortar, many digitally native brands are deciding to branch out into physical retail to meet their customer in person. When done right, these locations serve as a powerful ambassador for the brand — as well as a source of revenue — but many digital-first brands were not designed with physical retail in mind. Enter Leap . . .
How Naadam is subtracting risk from its physical retail expansion

For many direct-to-consumer brands, from Allbrids to Modern Citizen, opening physical retail locations is the next step in the growth journey. Not only can it grow sales and gain customers, but it often leads to upticks in e-commerce sales in surrounding areas . . .​
Democratizing Luxury With Affordable Cashmere

Sometimes getting lost — even in an incredibly foreign or hostile place — can turn out to be a surprisingly profitable experience. That was a lesson learned by Naadam Founder and CEO Matthew Scanlan when he found himself lost in Mongolia’s Gobi desert and taken in by local goat farmers . . .​
How Two Millennial Women Disrupted The Bridal Industry And Landed Serena Williams As Investor

Floravere, a direct-to-consumer wedding dress company, is the brainchild of Molly Kang and Denise Jin, two friends who set out together to disrupt the traditional bridal industry . . .​
High-End Sneaker Brand Koio Kicks It In Lincoln Park

The resurgence of luxury retailers on Armitage Avenue continues with Koio, which has brought its high-end sneakers to Lincoln Park’s hottest shopping district. “Koio’s clean, minimalistic aesthetic is a natural fit for Chicago,” says brand cofounder and co-CEO Chris Wichert of the decision . . .​
Chicago Startup Leap Raises $3M to Help Digital Brands Launch Retail Stores

Along with helping brands build out and design their retail shops, Leap also handles technology needs like mobile checkout, virtual in-store shopping, and the ability to buy online and return in any Leap store—regardless of brand . . .​
Brick-And-Mortar Retail Isn’t Dead. The Plug-And-Play Model Proves It.

The news of record store closings from traditional retailers in 2019 may have given the impression that things are bleak for brick-and-mortar retail. But online-born brands, or s0-called direct-to-consumer (DTC) labels, are proving there’s not only healthy demand for physical retail but also a viable new template to go about it . . .
How Goodlife Opened A New York Storefront Without Breaking The Bank

The journey from wholesaler to e-Commerce pure play to omnichannel retailer can be fraught with peril, and the challenges can be even greater for homegrown retailers that can’t rely on large funding rounds to jumpstart their ambitions . . .
These Top Service Providers Are Helping Direct-to-Consumer Brands Open Stores

“The approach to retail has shifted to incorporate more infrastructure partners, as the brands that are opening more stores are digital-first,” said Amish Tolia, co-CEO at Leap, which has worked with sneaker brand Koio to supplement its existing physical strategy and help it expand with lower risk. “They are inherently users of tools and platforms . . .
Goodlife to Open Store, Launch Women’s Wear

The men's brand known for its premium T-shirts, Henleys and sweats has taken a space on Bleecker Street. It's been a whirlwind five years for Chris Molnar. The apparel industry veteran of Michael Kors, John Varvatos and WP Lavori in Corso created Goodlife Clothing in 2014, a men's premium basics brand whose t-shirts, Hanleys and sweats are now sold at all Nordstrom and Trunk Club locations, as well as several specialty stores, a variety of upscale resorts, and online. . . .​
This Startup Helps High-Growth DTC Brands Like Koio De-Risk Retail

Talk to Leap co-founder and co-CEO Amish Tolia and VP of brand management Jon Levy long enough and you’ll hear a lot about “risk.” Leap was born out of the need to address the burgeoning crop of brands that grow up online but need a helping hand to manage the complexities of putting down real-world . . .​
Inside sneaker brand Koio’s plan for rapid retail expansion

A year ago, 4-year-old digitally native sneaker brand Koio had only a single store. Now it has six stores and a pop-up in Los Angeles for the month of August. The reason it’s been able to scale quickly is that it only operates three of those stores itself, said Chris Wichert, co-founder of Koio . . .
D2C infrastructure: How to invest in the shift toward micro-brands without investing in micro-brands

Leap is all about simplifying physical retail operations into a single line item on the company’s P&L, paid on a percent of sales basis . . .​
Shop Talk: Stylish Ways to Celebrate International Women's Day + More Fashion News

Koio opens doors to new real-world store, sneakerheads lose their sh*t...because SF is one of the digital-first brand's top markets. Oodles of millennial guys and girls have been adding the high-end, 100-percent made-in-Italy kicks to carts since Koio (pronounced koy-oh) hit the scene four years ago . . .
A Peek Inside Koio’s New Flagship Store in Chicago

Chicago fans of Koio have a reason to rejoice this winter. Come tomorrow, the New York luxury shoe brand will open its first flagship store in the Windy City, marking its third retail location . . .
Luxury labels and streetwear brands team up to lure shoppers

Street meets chic as traditional luxury brands partner with streetwear designers, creating cross-promotions and co-locations to cater to young customers . . .
The rise of the DTC neighborhood

With more direct-to-consumer fashion companies transitioning into physical retail as they move toward an omnichannel approach, clusters of DTC stores are popping up throughout major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. In New York City, you’ll find these DTC neighborhoods in the West Village, side streets in Soho, pockets on the Upper West Side and now North Williamsburg.
Thakoon Is Back With a Direct-to-Consumer Line of Everyday Essentials—and a Bricks-and-Mortar Store

Thakoon ads started popping up on subway entrances around New York City and on Instagram in September. Thakoon Panichgul, who put his brand on hold back in 2017, has reemerged post-hiatus with a new direct-to-consumer business model, offering everyday essentials at easy-on-the-wallet prices . . .​
Thakoon Panichgul: Going DTC means ‘control in the messaging you want to build’

Renowned designer Thakoon Panichgul is back to work after a two-year sabbatical from the world of fashion: “I traveled — went to Cuba, went to Mexico City, went to Bali, went to Thailand, Marrakesh. I needed time to open up the mind and figure out what this fashion world is all about,” he said. In this week’s episode of the Glossy Podcast, Jill Manoff sits down with Panichgul to discuss what today’s consumers want in a clothing brand and why he’s a firm believer in the DTC . . .​
Retail-as-a-service provider Leap raises $3M and launches first store

The past decade in retail has been the golden age of direct-to-consumer (D2C) and digitally native vertical brands . . .
This Bridal Atelier Is Changing How the Modern Woman Shops for Her Wedding Dress

Floravere knows you've started your search online—and is using that knowledge to enhance your in-store experience . . .
DTC bridal play Floravere opens NYC flagship

Walk into a typical wedding dress retail location, and the first thing customers see when they walk in the door is rows and rows of fluffy white gowns. Direct-to-consumer wedding dress brand Floravere is different. Inside the brand’s first flagship store, which opened in New York City this week, there’s not a dress in sight upon entry. . .​
Online retailers like Allbirds, Warby Parker and Bonobos are opening bricks-and-mortar stores, often in the same Chicago area

Koio was able to open its Chicago store sooner than it otherwise might have because it tapped another company, Leap, to assist with finding a location, negotiating a lease, building out the store and finding staff, Quodt said . . .​
Naadam just launched $75 cashmere sweaters–and created a whole store for them

Good news for those of you who love your cashmere but don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket. Naadam, a cashmere startup, is now selling top-grade cashmere sweaters for $75. Until now, the lowest price you could pay for high-quality cashmere was $99 . . .​

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