Online retailer Matchesfashion.com is set to open a brick-and-mortar store in the coming months. In an effort to make its brand more experiential, the new venture will serve as a cultural hub complete with shopping, events programming and a broadcasting centre. What’s more, the store will feature all of the designers Matchesfashion.com carries.
In-store retail is not uncharted territory for the business, which began as a physical shop in Wimbledon. Founded by Tom and Ruth Chapman, Matches was a trendsetter in multibrand retail – one of the first in London. Even then, the business was keen on providing customers with a memorable shopping experience. In its design, the original store fostered community, encouraging customers to hangout and enjoy some tea and coffee as they shopped.
During the boom of the digital revolution, the business was attune to the potential of online retail and opted to invest heavily in rebranding. The luxury retailer certainly hit the mark with this choice. Since the inception of Matchesfashion.com, the business has expanded to an impressive degree. Currently, Matchesfashion.com ships over 400 brands to 170 countries, reaching over 100 million people in a single year.
Still, the makers of Matchesfashion.com do not deny the timelessness of shopping in person. With its new store—encompassing the full six-stories of 5 Carlos Place—the business has kept in mind the advantages of both in-store and online retail. While offering customers a physical space to gather and shop, the store also integrates technology in its design. An innovative union of the physical shopping experience with social technology, Matchesfashion.com will share the brand experience through live broadcasting and will also produce a podcast series.
This venture into experiential retail belongs to an emerging trend in the space. In an attempt to appeal to the customer’s desire for an experience rather than simply products, brands are building experiential stores which include cultural offerings on top of access to their products. Matchesfashion.com has a history of being ahead of the curve when it comes to catering to the wants and needs of the consumer, making this intriguing venture into experiential retail all the more promising.
Words by Olivia Williams | Feature image via Matchesfashion.com