The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
The Gap brand follows a similar move from sister company Athleta.
Online shoe and apparel retailer Piperlime will open its first retail store this fall. The 4,000-square-foot facility will be located at 121 Wooster St., in the trendy SoHo section of lower Manhattan. Piperlime is owned by Gap Inc., No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
Gap last year signaled that it would open retail stores for Piperlime and the Athleta sportswear brand. The first Athleta store opened in San Francisco in January.
“Customers have been asking for a place to experience Piperlime in person,” says Jennifer Gosselin, the brand’s senior vice president and general manager. She says that online orders from Piperlime ship with shopping bags carrying the Piperlime brand, which served to increase interest in a physical store. She also says some customers want to touch and try on items before buying.
The store will feature products that highlight the range of Piperlime’s offerings, Gosselin says, not necessarily the best-selling items on the Piperlime.com e-commerce site. For items not in the store, shoppers will be able to order online and arrange in-store pickup.
Gosselin gave no date for the store’s opening, nor any details about possible future Piperlime stores. The SoHo location will benefit from dense foot traffic and be located in a neighborhood where Piperlime customers would be likely to shop for clothes and shoes, she says.