- Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez |
The Columbus-based online retailer will inaugurate its first physical store in September at Easton Town Center in a space previously occupied by its former parent group The Limited.
“If you would have asked us about four years ago if this would happen, we would have said you were crazy,” said Julie Carnavale, chief merchandising officer, in an interview with the ‘Columbus Dispatch’.
Eloquii started off as a sub-brand of The Limited but was closed down in 2013. A year later, some former The Limited employees saw potential in the plus-size sector and branched out on their own, deciding to become a pure online player.
But now, Eloquii’s executive team has decided to try their luck with brick and mortar stores. “Julie and I know stores very well,” said to the Columbus paper Steve Zawada, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We did stores before we went into e-commerce and we know that people still shop at stores, they still go into retail locations.”
To test the idea, Eloquii found a space for a temporary “pop-up” store in the Washington, D.C., area. The temporary store opened in March, “and it was wildly successful, to a point where Pentagon City asked us to stay permanently,” Zawada said.
With their new venture, Zawada and team wanted to bring together the best of both worlds. “We have stylists in the store who will have the ability — and the iPads — to show customers what will work best for them, and do free two-day shipping to their homes,” if the clothing isn’t in the store, Zawada said. “We’ve found you have to treat the customer with a true fashion experience. It’s a back-to-basics approach.”
Eloquii will continue to have a broader offering online - about 1,300 styles available on its website – and limit their physical stores’ collections to around 250 in a store. Besides, Eloquii “will customize by region,” Carnavale said.