STORES Magazine - April 2018 - 17
What describes the core ELOQUII customer?
How is fit a differentiator for ELOQUII?
Our customer is the best! I would dare anyone
to find a better group of customers than ours.
Given that we are talking to an underserved
market, we have a relatively broad group of
customer ages, [market concentration], style
preferences, interests - it really ranges. She spans
multiple demographic segments.
The two common traits we can point to are,
first, our customer is a professional. I've spoken to
hundreds of our customers at this point and every
single one has had a full-time job. Second, she's
relatively urban - she lives in or near a big city.
This makes sense, given the broader urbanization
trends we as a society have witnessed over the past
We start with measurements and sizing for the
range we offer - we're working with the size 14
to 24 customer in mind from the start. Often you
see a brand just sizing up, but [that] doesn't address
the fit. We fit every single style at least twice and
recognize that fit is dynamic. While we want our
customers to have the consistency of "ELOQUII
fit," we also want to respond to her changing needs
Does your business model set you apart from
I don't know that our business model sets us
apart, but we are continually reviewing our
supply chain to make it as quick as possible and
allocate as much of our inventory in season as
possible. With the collapse of the trend cycle,
the new trend is no trend and we try to work to
continue delivering innovative and fashion-forward
merchandise to our customer.
That leads right to ELOQUII's fashion point of
view. What's the story?
We want to be the first place our customer
thinks of for fashion. We want to own her fashion
consideration mindset. We have a deepening and
strong selection of best-in-class key items and
basics, but at our core, we are fashion-first. We
take fashion risks when no one else will. We love to
do what looks the hardest and the riskiest.
We want to be first to market with the fashion
must-haves of the moment. [Our customer] can
count on us for that. We absolutely have a growing
and strong selection of "best" basics and we
really try to walk the walk when it comes to being
fashion-first for [our] customer.
What can you share about the range of
product and the frequency of new styles?
We offer every department in apparel and have
launched swim, shoes and lingerie over the past
three years. We will pursue intimates and active
wear in the future - all executed through our
specific design and trend point of view. We launch
two new collections each month - averaging
about 60 to 75 new styles per collection. Each
collection has its own distinct creative story and
inspiration, as well as editorial look book.
Are there plans to offer more sizes?
We often get customer requests to address
different body shapes and proportions, which we
do. We launched a test of sizes 26 and 28 in the
fall of 2015. By this fall, every single new style we
launch will be available in sizes 26 and 28, and
we'll also begin testing into sizes 30 and 32.
You opened three retail locations last year
after a pop-up test near Washington, D.C.
Why was it important to add physical stores
to your business model?
It all goes back to the customer. About a year
into our relaunch, we had customers repeatedly
asking us to open a store near where they lived.
We thought, "She wants to try things on." And,
yes, in part, it's that.
But one customer summed up a potentially
bigger reason why customers wanted stores from
us. In her words: "ELOQUII, you've given me
fashion online for the first time and now I want to
see fashion in a store from you." This customer's
in-store experience has been lackluster - there
is no "fashion" destination for her. So we asked
ourselves if we could we provide that. And that
was the challenge we gave ourselves.
How did you select the Washington, D.C.,
Illinois and Ohio locations?
We chose the Pentagon City and Chicago
locations based on ecommerce market
performance. The Columbus store is in our
backyard. We also wanted to test how a store in
a smaller market performed - both from a fourwall and ecommerce market lift perspective.
Any plans for additional stores?
Yes, we are looking at new markets as well as
retail concepts. While we can't disclose details, we
are definitely in exploration mode.
Janet Groeber has covered all aspects of the retail industry
for more than 20 years. Her reporting has appeared in
AdWeek and DDI Magazine, among others.
STORES April 2018 17