Ace Rivington Wades Back Into Retail With Front Porch Fittings
Like other California retailers, the flagship for the Ace Rivington brand in Santa Barbara, Calif., took a small step to reopening for business May 11.
The Ace Rivington flagship started a curbside pickup program, where shoppers could pick up the brand’s denim, tees and face masks at the curb outside of its bricks-and-mortar shop at located at La Arcada Plaza on 1114 State Street.
Beau Lawrence, the brand’s founder and president, said that a small group of shoppers requested curbside pickups on day one of the shop’s reopening. However, about 25 people requested that store staff deliver goods. Lawrence forecast there would be a lot more demand for delivery. He plans on building a delivery service called Front Porch Fittings, which his brand is scheduled to unveil later this week.
“The main point is to extend service from the store experience to homes with safety,” Lawrence said.
In the past decade, business models for subscription retail developed into multi-million dollar businesses by delivering fashions to consumers homes and offices. Lawrence said that Front Porch Fittings will offer similar services with some points of difference. It will offer what he described as a richer online and phone stylist experience, along with the denim tailoring service that the Ace Rivington staff offers in its physical store.
Here's how Lawrence described the upcoming service. After making an initial order online, a fitting will be scheduled. Selected goods of Ace Rivington styles will be taken to different addresses within Santa Barbara County, whether it be a shopper’s front porch, or an apartment building's or hotel’s lobby.
After the delivery, consumers can try on products like they would at a store’s dressing room. The stylist who delivered the goods will review fits. If the stylist is not in the same space as the customer, the stylist will coach the consumer on alteration markings like inseam adjustments.
The Ace Rivington stylist will process purchase charges for any styles the consumer chooses to keep with a cellular Shopify POS system. Any styles to be tailored will be bagged, marked, and returned to Ace Rivington where the items will be altered. Items not chosen will be returned to the store, properly sanitized, returned to inventory and added back on the shelves for future shoppers, Lawrence said.
It remains unclear when people will be able to go inside the Ace Rivington store and browse, Lawrence said. So curbside pickup and Front Porch Fittings will be the way his company conducts retail at a remove. But the Front Porch Fittings idea might have legs. Lawrence forecast that Ace Rivington stylists would be able to offer the service in any city, independent of a physical store.