Adore Me

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Adore Me
Private
Founded2012
FounderMorgan Hermand-Waiche
HeadquartersNew York, New York
ProductsUnderwear, Lingerie, Swimwear
Websiteadoreme.com

Adore Me is a women’s intimates company based in New York City. The company manufactures and sells lingerie, sleepwear, swimwear, activewear, and other products. The brand offers inclusive intimates in sizes ranging from petite to plus. Like many online retailers, Adore Me is opening retails stores, unveiling plans to open up to 300 stores.[1] The company was started by Morgan Hermand-Waiche in his days as an MBA student at Harvard Business School.[2]

Service[edit]

The company uses a style quiz[3] and associated algorithm to recommend product & sizes to customers.

The Adore Me VIP service is a monthly subscription box with lingerie. With 40-60 new designs every month,[4] customers log in each month to see the new products of their own private lingerie showroom[5] – all customized by their answers to the style quiz - encompassing their personal style, favorite color palette, lingerie shapes and fits.

In November 2017, Adore Me launched the Elite Membership Program.[6] The membership is a subscription-based model that lets customers try on clothes before buying them. Shipping and returns are free. The new model is using different machine learning algorithms to recommend and send personalized products to customers, aiming to create a convenient way of shopping for lingerie.

In addition to the subscription services, Adore Me also has the ‘Pay As You Go’ (PAYG) service for customers wanting make a one-time purchase.[7]

With a mobile app (both iOS and Android), 80% of Adore Me’s shopper traffic comes in from mobile.[8]

History[edit]

Adore Me was founded by Morgan Hermand-Waiche.[9] He conceived Adore Me in 2010 during his second year at Harvard Business School’s M.B.A program, when he couldn't find lingerie that was both high quality and affordable.[10] Hermand-Waiche spent three years working at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company prior to Adore Me.[11]

Initial investors in Adore Me include Hermand-Waiche’s Harvard professors,[10] and angel investors Fabrice Grinda and Jose Marin.[9] The company officially launched its website in March 2012.[12] In the same year, Adore Me raised $2.5 million in its second round of funding with investments from Redhills Ventures, Jaina Capital, Ventech Capital, and other US angel investors. Adore Me reportedly sold 100,000 items in their first year of business.[13]

In July 2013, Adore Me raised $8.5 million from investors in a Series B round of funding. Investors included Upfront Ventures, Redhills Ventures, and Mousse Partners.[13][14]

In 2014, Adore Me was listed as the second fastest-growing private retail company on the Inc. 5000 list based on their 2013 sales of $5.6 million.[15] They went on to generate $16.2 million in sales in 2014.[16]

In 2016, Adore Me was ranked #9 on Crain’s list of New York’s 50 Fastest-Growing Companies.[17] Revenue for 2016 was $83.9 million.[18]

In 2017, Adore Me was named one of the Internet Retailer Top 1000 companies from DigitalCommerce360 and was listed on the Inc. 5000 list for the third time in four years.[19][18] As of 2017, Adore Me had 121 full-time employees.[18]

Products[edit]

Initially, Adore Me products included lingerie, sleepwear, swimwear, and related apparel. Bra sizes range from 30A to 46G.[20][21] In October 2016, Adore Me launched an activewear collection. Similarly to the bras and panties, the activewear collection includes sizes from petite to plus.[22] In April 2017, Adore Me announced that they had launched their largest swim collection to date, with 88 pieces for standard and plus sized women.[23] Current head of design, Helen Mears, formerly worked as head designer of the Angels brand at Victoria’s Secret.[24]

The brand has been compared to Zara regarding pricing and its practice of fast-fashion production.[13][14] Adore Me primarily sells its products online. Customers shop through personalized “showrooms” and can purchase products a-la-carte on a one time basis or as part of a monthly subscription, known as “VIP Membership.” Products are currently shipped to customers in the U.S. and Canada.[9][10][25]

In December 2017, Adore Me launched their Bijou Collection.[26] This luxury designer collection used fabrics such as velvet, French lace as well as gold logo plates and piercings. This collection retailed from $69.99-$79.99.

Today, Adore Me carries various product categories, including bras and panties,[27] lingerie,[28] sleepwear,[29] gifts,[30] activewear,[31] corsets[32] and bralettes.[33]

Expansion into retail[edit]

In April 2016, Adore Me opened their first retail store as a showroom at their New York City headquarters.[34] In June 2016, Adore Me partnered with Nordstrom to begin selling products in Nordstrom stores and on the company’s e-commerce site.[35] As of October 2016, Adore Me also partnered with Lord and Taylor to begin selling products in the Manhattan flagship store and online.[36]

Adore Me opened its first permanent brick and mortar retail store in June, 2018. The first store if the brand is located in Staten Island Mall, NY — developed in partnership with Brookfield and is part of a larger plan to open 200 to 300 stores in the next five years.[37][38]

Adore Me’s Staten Island store is equipped with a marble "lingerie bar" filled with candy and refreshments.[39] Designed to communicate the brand's “Inner Confidence for All” value, the store features empowering quotes on walls and in fitting rooms. It’s colored light pink - matching the brand’s online identity.[40]

The store also has "smart" fitting rooms:[41] the Adore Me customer can place an item, embedded with a radio frequency identification tag, on the hook in her fitting room to activate the fitting-room display screen. It will indicate the item chosen in full detail — revealing a product image, as well as size run and colors available.[42][43]

On Black Friday of 2018, at 6am ET, Adore Me opened its second retail store, located in Bridgewater Commons Mall, Bridgewater, NJ. The store is 3,600 square-foot in size — which is double the size of its first location which opened in June 2018 at Staten Island Mall, in the Staten Island borough of New York City.[40] The larger store incorporates lounge areas to encourage involvement with the space. The two stores were designed by New York City-based Lawrence Group.[44]

The brand plans to open 300 stores during the next five years.[45][46] Upcoming locations include a 5,000-sq.-ft. location at Providence Place, Providence, RI, and a 2,700-sq-ft. space at Willowbrook Mall, Wayne, NJ. Both upcoming locations are owned by Brookfield Properties.

International expansion[edit]

Upon until 2017, Adore Me has primarily focused on the North American market, delivering its products to all states in the U.S. The service and full product assortment is also available to shoppers in Canada, Australia, and the UK.[47][48][49]

In September 2018, Adore Me officially announced its expansion to start selling in China. The brand has begun launching its products using the interactive livestream platform & global shopping marketplace service, ShopShops.[50][51]

Models[edit]

Adore Me has promoted body positivity and inclusivity within the brand.[20][52] They have worked with models such as Iskra Lawrence, a spokesmodel for body positive campaigns;[53][54] and Nina Agdal, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model;[55] In 2016 Adore Me worked with plus model Sophie Tweed-Simmons.[56]

Awards[edit]

Publication Award Year
Crain's Crain’s Fast 50 – Adore Me is the 36th fastest growing company in NYC[57] 2018
Nexty's Nexty’s – Winner of ‘Best Use of Data in Marketing’[58] 2018
Retail TouchPoints Retail Innovator of the Year [59] 2018
Loyalty360 ‘Customer Analytics & Data’: Gold Winner, ‘Technologies & Trends’: Bronze Winner [60] 2018
IAB 250 Direct Brands to Watch [61] 2018
CCW Excellence Awards Best in Class Omnichannel Experience [62] 2018
Retail TouchPoints Customer Engagement Awards: Best Mobile Strategy [59] 2018
Inc. 500 Inc. 500 ranks Adore Me as #20 Top Retail Company of 2017 and #313 overall [63] 2017
Crain's Crain’s Fast 50 – Adore Me is the 17th fastest growing company in NYC[64] 2017
Retail TouchPoints 2017 Customer Engagement Awards [65] 2017
Internet Retailer Adore Me ranks #322 in the Top 1000 E-Tailers in North America[66] 2017
SmartCEO Morgan Hermand-Waiche wins SmartCEO’s Future 50 Awards [67] 2017
Teen Vogue Back to School Awards[68] 2017
The Telly Awards Adore Me wins Bronze in the category "General-Business-to-Consumer" [69] 2017
Goldman Sachs Morgan Hermand-Waiche named among ‘GS 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs’ [70] 2017
Crain's Crain’s Fast 50 – Adore Me is #9 on Crain’s Fast 50 list of fastest-growing companies in NYC[71] 2016
Internet Retailer Internet Retailer’s Mobile 500 [72] 2016
Apparel Magazine Adore Me ranks on ‘Top 30 Under 30’ [73] 2016
SmartCEO New York Future 50 [74] 2016
Inc. 500 Inc. 500 ranks Adore Me as #14 Fastest Growing Company in the U.S.[63] 2015
Forbes Forbes 30 under 30 - Adore Me’s co-founder Gary Bravard named Forbes 30 under 30 [75] 2015
Business Insider Silicon Alley 100 – Adore Me ranks #55 [76] 2015
Inc. 500 Inc. 500 ranks Adore Me as #49 Fastest Growing Company in the U.S.[63] 2014

Technology & customer service[edit]

Adore Me was one of the first retailers to use Angular technology[77] – the complete JavaScript-based, open-source, front-end web application framework supported by Google[78] – on its mobile and desktop websites.

Applied in November 2017, Adore Me started to offer customer support through the Facebook chat.[79] With a widget on AdoreMe.com, it allows all customers to chat directly with the company through the Facebook chat.

In December 2017, the company implemented a hybrid-bot on its website. The hybrid-bot enables Adore Me customers to receive live support via several messaging platforms.[80]

In the company's early days, many customers had complained about the its use of the controversial practice of negative option billing. Adore Me offered the customers the choice of buying a product at full price or of buying the same product at a substantial discount by joining a membership club. The club then billed customers a fixed amount each month unless the customer bought lingerie or opted out for the month. While the membership may be cancelled, the customers have found it difficult to cancel.[81][82] Following an investigation filed by the Federal Trade Commission about Adore Me's deceptive billing practices, the company agreed to refund up to $1.38 million to customers that had previously forfeited their store credits and to clearly disclose how much customers would pay on its monthly subscription plan.[83]

In 2017, Adore Me announced the launch of its scholarship program, offering a $1,000 scholarship to support women pursuing a degree in business. The company began awarding female students who had either started their own business or were planning to do so in the future.[84]

October and November 2017 Shipping Delay[edit]

In October and November 2017, Adore Me experienced delays in their supply chain management, resulting in orders taking longer than expected to receive. In emails to customers, Adore Me customer service representatives stated, "We truly apologize for the extended processing time, we received an unexpected number of orders and we are doing our best possible to ship them out and we want you to know that we are actively working to find solutions so this will not happen again."[85]

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