Russell Wilson, Ciara’s House of LR&C opens its first pop-up store
A fashion startup co-founded by singer and artist Ciara, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson and former Lululemon CEO Christine Day is preparing to open its first physical store.
LR&C, which launched online in 2020, will open a pop-up near its Seattle headquarters in early February, Day said in an interview, with a selection from its three brands: Wilson’s Good Man Brand, LITA by Ciara and Human Nation. , a gender-neutral clothing brand.
The brands are currently sold online and through wholesale partners Nordstrom, Kohl’s and the online fashion site Revolve. But House of LR&C has developed a three-pronged approach to retail since its inception, according to Day, who is the CEO of the company, which includes plans to sell directly to consumers online, through its own stores and via wholesalers like department stores.
“The future is omnichannel,” said Day, who said strategy is the most profitable way to go into retail today. “Stores act more like showrooms for people to actually buy in the moment, touch and feel your product, and be able to express the full story of your brand.”
“And there is an advantage to wholesale early on as a small brand, because… you also gain customers, brand awareness and marketing from those distribution points,” she added.
The company plans to open three or four permanent stores in the United States this year and will also look to find a larger space near the Seattle pop-up store at University Village, Day said.
House of LR & C’s expansion plans are part of a larger trend in the retail industry as internet-launched brands invest in points of sale in malls and malls. Retailers like Allbirds, Warby Parker, Vuori, and Mack Weldon are opening more stores this year, in part to help offset the expense of running an online business.
Sales in physical stores can generate more profit as the retailer saves on shipping costs for online shoppers – and items purchased in-store are returned less frequently than those purchased online. Rents have also fallen in some markets during the pandemic, which could make it an opportune time for retailers to sign a lease.
Savage X Fenty, a lingerie company launched online by pop star Rihanna in 2018, announced last week that it would open its first store later this month in Las Vegas. It also plans to open locations in Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC this year.
“What we’re doing is establishing points of proof, right now,” Day said. “In our [direct-to-consumer] business, we have seen that the desire of consumers is there.
Day was Managing Director of Lululemon from 2008 to 2013 and then held the most senior position at health food company Performance Kitchen. She currently sits on the Kohl Board of Directors.
Like many fashion start-up retailers today, House of LR&C emphasizes sustainability, prioritizing materials that are less harmful to the environment in its products. It is also on its way to becoming a Certified B Corporation and donates 3% of its net income to charity, Day said.
“If we don’t make fashion sustainable and transparent, we will never change the industry,” she said. “This is what we think of as white space and that no one is doing right.”
Day said House of LR&C sales have grown by around 70% in the past year, from seven figures to eight figures. She did not provide further details.
The company recently closed a convertible offer of more than $ 7 million with participating investors, including private equity firm Ames Watson, Harlem Capital and Darco Capital, she said. He plans to use the funding to invest in the addition of stores.
MATCH: The House of LR&C will be presenting at the ICR Virtual Conference at 4:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.