E-commerce retailer Love, Bonito Singapore is venturing into brick and mortar at 313@Somerset in October.
The homegrown womenswear label is taking over a 4603 sqft (427 sqm) second-floor space previously occupied by American fast-fashion giant Forever 21.
Love, Bonito co-founder Rachel Lim describes the move as a “calculated risk” on the back of the success of a string of pop-ups over the years.
“A physical store provides a platform for us to enhance our customers’ touch point, provides a space for our community to mingle and learn, enables us to interact with our customers face to face, and increases our customers’ brand loyalty,” says Lim.
Sales staff will be trained to help shoppers with styling, and the space will also host workshops on such topics as dressing for body type.
Love, Bonito was started seven years ago by Lim, her childhood friend Viola Tan and Velda Tan, who left the company in 2013. It started as a blogshop selling imported clothes, with the team starting to design its own items in 2011. Its first collection was so popular high traffic crashed the website.
The brand, which has a physical presence in Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia, expects revenue growth of at least 50 per cent this year.
Lim, who oversees design, customer experience and branding, says she wants brand converts via the boutique more than one-off transactions.
“To us, the store is so much more than just stocking products. We believe the retail landscape has completely changed, and consumers are looking for a different experience that goes well beyond a simple transaction.
“With the store we want to share more about our vision, and translate this ethos via touch points and special experiences.”
Tan says the company is on a Southeast Asia expansion blitz through a combination of e-commerce, retail stores and partnerships.