Lively is moving again. This time to Austin, Tex.
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The brick-and-mortar outpost will give shoppers — many of whom are hungry for actual storefronts in an era of online shopping and convenience — the chance to try on products before they buy.
“It is very easy to buy online. But there’s still this barrier to entry where some women are more comfortable trying it first,” Michelle Cordeiro Grant, founder and chief executive officer of Lively, told WWD. “Bra shopping isn’t easy. By coming into our stores, they can have an amazing fit session that we’re really proud to say is without the tape measure, is not intimidating, is not uncomfortable.
“And then that loyalty continues and they can quickly replenish or expand their assortment by buying additional colors or new styles now that they know their size,” Grant continued. “Sometimes it just takes that physical experience to create that loyalty, that trust and that relationship.”
The shop, which opens to the public on Wednesday, will be located at 11624 Rock Rose Avenue, Suite 122, in the Domain NORTHSIDE, an outdoor retail and residential center situated north of downtown Austin.
The roughly 1,200-square-foot location will have fewer racks and more open space for things like lounge chairs, tables and sofas, lots of greenery and fitting rooms that can expand, so that if you’re shopping with a friend you can open curtains and create one big fitting room. Grant said the environment is purposely set up so that women can come and spend time in the store — and with each other. The Texas store will also serve as a community center for various food and fitness events, DIY classes and fundraisers.
“Digital grew so quickly and is such an important part of our business,” said Grant, who is also a Victoria’s Secret alum. “But if you look ahead at where Millennials and Gen Z are headed, they’re yearning for human interaction and impact. Gen Z was born on a screen. But now they’re looking for ways to spend time with others. We can be one of those places where they come and they interact and they learn.”
Lively was born in 2016, and the bras quickly became a hit among Millennials and Gen Z shoppers for the brand’s size-inclusive collection and standardized pricing. Each bra is $35 regardless of size and there is no “plus-size” section on the web site. It also became popular for introducing “leisuree,” bras that offer the comfort of ath-leisure in the style of lingerie.
After several successful pop-ups, Lively opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood last summer, followed by a second in Chicago.
It was during the temporary pop-ups, though, that Grant’s team discovered an interesting ripple effect that was occurring. Shoppers would buy products in the pop-up, only to later buy more products online. In fact, during the Dallas pop-up, online tractions from Dallas and Dallas-area shoppers increased 175 percent.
“The pop-ups put us on our pathway toward opening physical retail,” Grant said.
For now though, Grant said she’s thrilled with the excitement around the Austin shop.
“We’ve already had hundreds of girls RSVP for opening night,” Grant said.