The next frontier for Mom-focused fashion retailer Evereve: online personal styling. Evereve Trendsend launches in the Twin Cities this week, positioning the Edina-based chain to compete with the likes of hot e-commerce styling service Stitch Fix.
“Retail is evolving to this model,” Evereve Executive Chairman Mike Tamte says, pointing out that Nordstrom bought men’s online styling service Trunk Club—for $350 million. A Trendsend pilot in Chicago outperformed the company’s original projections, seven fold. “We now think Trensend will double our overall business in the next three to five years.”
Evereve currently has 54 stores around the country with annual sales topping $50 million. Another six stores are scheduled to open by the end of the year.
From its earliest days as Hot Mama, Evereve has always marketed to moms and tried to make life easier, whether by helping her find the perfect jeans or occupying the kids with toys and animal crackers so she can shop. Trendsend fits perfectly in that point of view. The website’s tagline: “You take care of your family, we’ll take care of your fashion.”
To use Trendsend, customers spend about 10 minutes filling out a profile that asks questions about taste, lifestyle, and preferred price range. An Evereve stylist hand picks six to eight items meant to be mixed and matched into two or three outfits. A return label comes with each order for items customers don’t choose to keep. There’s no shipping fee, and, unlike Stitch Fix, there’s no styling fee.
There’s also not a lot of technology behind it, other than the website itself. Where Stitch Fix uses computer algorithms to match customer preferences with clothing items, Evereve is styling the old fashioned way. Customers can choose to be styled by their favorite store employee or a dedicated Trendsend stylist. Initially, a team of eight stylists will be filling orders out of Evereve’s Minnetonka warehouse. Tamte says the company is currently in negotiations to add a separate, larger warehouse in the Twin Cities, just for Trendsend.
Evereve worked with former Target.com president Dale Nitschke at Ovative Group to set up its online styling service—the first of this scale from a bricks and mortar specialty retailer. It’s been in the works for about six months. Evereve will kick off a Trendsend marketing push in the Twin Cities on Tuesday.