Online Shop Goes Offline
Bonobos uses beer and babes to lure men to new Austin storefront
Bonobos, the online menswear retailer that launched in 2007, is opening its first Texas “Guideshop” in Austin on Wednesday, August 7. This shop joins a growing network of Bonobos storefronts hoping to turn the online store into a real-life retail experience.
Setting up at 436 W. 2nd St. in the heart of the of the 2nd Street District, Bonobos promises Austin men a relatively hassle-free, booze-filled shopping experience. Add in a staff of pretty people and an inventory of almost-custom tailored pieces, and you have a pretty dreamy retail excursion.
Unlike traditional retail stores, Bonobos doesn’t actually keep stock. Instead, customers are interviewed about their personal style, measured to ensure proper fit and asked to try on basics in each piece. Once cut and colors have been selected, staffers place the order. Buyers can expect a package of brand-new Bonobos pieces on their doorstep within a day or two.
Though made famous by its chinos, Bonobos has brought everything from North Carolina-made jeans to custom tuxedos to its Austin Guideshop. Accessories from companies like Jack Spade and Ernest Alexander have been carefully curated alongside Bonobos’ own line of ties and fabrics.
Walk-ins can be accommodated, but Bonobos encourages customers to book appointments online, so there are never more than three people in the store at one time. Customers are greeted at the door with a personal shopper and a pint of local beer from Circle Brewing Co.
Signage from Austin artist Anilyn Fabello lines the wall alongside pieces from Texas photographers. The company has also paired with ChiLantro food truck to offer free tacos to new clients.
Although it remains to be seen if this e-commerce site can turn clicks into real-life customers here in Austin, the company certainly knows the way to a Texas man’s heart: beer and a good pair pants.