‘The new retail’: Bonobos opens on Greenwich Avenue
Adding to the limited options for men’s clothing on Greenwich Avenue, Bonobos, which is primarily an e-commerce business, has opened its first Connecticut storefront at the top of the avenue.
“It’s like walking into our website, basically,” Greenwich manager Mike Gratton said Tuesday during a tour of the 1,100-square-foot space at 53 Greenwich Ave.
Branded as “guideshop locations,” Bonobos stores act as boutiques for customers to see and try out its menswear offerings. Most of the time customers leave empty-handed, Gratton said.
Bonobos keeps the majority of its stock in a warehouse and ships items ordered online or in stores for free, with return labels included. Gratton, who has worked at numerous fashion retailers, said he foresees the business model as the way of the future. “This is the new retail,” he said.
Bonobos has tailored its retail model so customers receive mostly one-on-one service. Guides help them navigate the store’s fashions, which range from casual and golf attire to business casual and business professional. Since its soft opening Thursday, Gratton has modified the store’s layout to adapt to customers’ wants. “Everyone coming in keeps asking for our golf stuff, so we hung it all up on its own rack,” he said.
Unlike several of the primary menswear retailers in downtown Greenwich, Bonobos doesn’t provide made-to-measure services, but customers order garments according to their measurements, Gratton said.
“Once we have them in the fitting room and feeling how nicely everything fits, it’s hard for customers to say no,” he said, emphasizing most shoppers appreciate how Bonobos clothing frequently includes extra stretch for comfort.
Many customers who have visited one of Bonobos’ several New York City locations have stopped by the new Greenwich shop, Gratton said. “The feedback has been great and everyone keeps saying, ‘Thank goodness you’re here.’ ”
The Greenwich location is one of several new Bonobos storefronts opening this year. By 2018, the brand will likely grow from 35 to 40 shops, Gratton said.
“Being digitally native, we have the luxury of utilizing data to identify where our biggest customer bases are located and Greenwich was top of the list,” Chief Revenue Officer Erin Ersenkal said in a media statement. “Greenwich Avenue is a go-to street for locals with great retailers and local business, so when the opportunity arose for us to open a store there, we jumped at the chance.”
In contrast to the majority of Greenwich Avenue storefronts that feature primarily women’s fashions, Bonobos adopts a more masculine style with darker paint colors and black steel fixtures.
“Guys who shop here are into fashion but also sports,” Gratton said.
Customers can visit the new store by walking in or scheduling a complimentary appointment.
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