This app helps luxury brick-and-mortar stores engage millennials online

by James Risley
January 13, 2017

Luxury brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermes have a unique challenge when it comes to digital offerings, oftentimes limiting or foregoing online sales to maintain strict control over their brand.

Many brands value the exclusivity that comes with brick-and-mortar stores and see online sales as a cheapening of their image. On their end, consumers see online storefronts as a place for deals, while also wanting to see items in person when making luxury purchases.

But that leaves a lot of marketing power on the table, with brands unable to reach modern consumers with new advertising and potentially leading to a smaller audience down the line. An early-stage startup based in Chicago may be offering these brands a way to fight back against fast fashion while maintaining those luxury looks.

Bond Shop Club partners with retailers to offer exclusive in-store offers for paying members. By offering discounts and other incentives directly to paying members, the company is able to target luxury-minded users who may think top luxury brands are still out of reach.

“There aren't any central omnichannel strategies out there that encompass the mobile component, marrying the luxury retailers and high-end consumers within the brick-and-mortar store,” said founder Matthew Thomas (pictured above).

Members use the Bond Shop Club app to browse deals, then head to the brick-and-mortar locations to check out items. They still get the full luxury experience but can use the barcode generated by the app to apply the discount at checkout.

Thomas came up with the idea for Bond Shop Club after a classic showrooming experience, where he would head into a luxury store, get a feel for the product, and then scour the internet for deals. With third-party retailers like Nordstrom often offering luxury goods as well, deals could still be found if you had the right product information.

“The millennial generation is all about the fit, the finish, the feel of the products,” Thomas said, “but there’s so many avenues of acquiring the goods.”

But Thomas realized salespeople missing out on commissions and stores were losing business of potential new customers. Plus, his method of showrooming wasn’t exactly easy. He still had to travel to stores, then dig around online for deals on the same items.

With a sales background, he started reaching out to retailers to see how his idea could help. A number of retailers have already showed interest in the idea when the club opens up. 

Right now, Bond Shop Club is in an early-access phase with pricing yet to be announced. Bond Shop Club hopes to launch to the public later this quarter. Initially, the club will be open in Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago, with plans to quickly expand to San Francisco and Washington D.C.

Image via Bond Shop Club

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