Adore Me

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Adore Me
Private
Founded 2012
Founder Morgan Hermand-Waiche
Headquarters New York, New York
Products Underwear, Lingerie, Swimwear
Website adoreme.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. It was fined $1.38 million by the Federal Trade Commission in November, 2017 for deceptive billing practices.[1]

History[edit]

Adore Me was founded by Morgan Hermand-Waiche.[2] 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.[3] Hermand-Waiche spent three years working at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company prior to Adore Me.[4]

Initial investors in Adore Me include Hermand-Waiche’s Harvard professors,[3] and angel investors Fabrice Grinda and Jose Marin.[2] The company officially launched its website in March 2012.[5] 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.[6]

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.[6][7]

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.[8] They went on to generate $16.2 million in sales in 2014.[9]

In 2016, Adore Me was ranked #9 on Crain’s list of New York’s 50 Fastest-Growing Companies.[10] Revenue for 2016 was $83.9 million.[11]

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.[12][11] As of 2017, Adore Me had 121 full time employees.[11]

Consumer complaints and marketing[edit]

Following a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission about Adore Me's deceptive billing practices, the company settled the suit for $1.38 million and an agreement to clearly disclose how much customers would pay on its monthly subscription plan.[1]

Many customers had complained about the company's 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.[13][14]

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.[15]

Products[edit]

Initially, Adore Me products included lingerie, sleepwear, swimwear, and related apparel. Bra sizes range from 30A to 46G.[16][17] In October 2016, Adore Me launched an activewear collection. Similarly to the bras and panties, the activewear collection includes sizes from petite to plus.[18] 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.[19] Current head of design, Helen Mears, formerly worked as head designer of the Angels brand at Victoria’s Secret.[20]

The brand has been compared to Zara regarding pricing and its practice of fast-fashion production.[6][7] 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.[2][3][21]

Expansion into retail[edit]

In April 2016, Adore Me opened their first retail store as a showroom at their New York City headquarters.[22] In June 2016, Adore Me partnered with Nordstrom to begin selling products in Nordstrom stores and on the company’s e-commerce site.[23] As of October 2016, Adore Me also partnered with Lord and Taylor to begin selling products in the Manhattan flagship store and online.[24]

Models[edit]

Adore Me has promoted body positivity and inclusivity within the brand.[16][25] They have worked with models such as Iskra Lawrence, a spokesmodel for body positive campaigns;[26][27] and Nina Agdal, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model;[28]

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."[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bhasin, Kim; Greenfield, Rebecca (November 21, 2017). "Lingerie Startup Settles FTC Suit Over Deceptive Subscriptions, Adore Me is one of many retail startups accused of tricking customers into hard-to-cancel memberships". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Perez, Sarah. "Adore Me Raises $2.5 Million For Personalized Lingerie Showrooms". TechCrunch. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Max, Sarah. "For Valentine's Day, Adore Me Takes On Victoria's Secret and Other Bigger Lingerie Rivals". New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "The First Five Years: Morgan Hermand-Waiche (MBA 2010)". Harvard Business School. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Carney, Michael. "Intimates etailer Adore Me pads its bank with $8.5 million in Series B funding". Pando. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Shontell, Alyson. "Man Raises $8.5 Million For Victoria's Secret Killer, AdoreMe, Which Sells Half-Price Lingerie". Business Insider. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Ruth, João-Pierre S. "Lingerie E-Commerce Site Adore Me, Developed at Harvard, Raises $8.5M". Xconomy. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "The 2014 Inc. 5000". Inc. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  9. ^ Zaroban, Stefany. "Second 500 newcomers skip ahead of their older rivals". Internet Retailer. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Crain's names 50 fastest-growing companies in 2016". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  11. ^ a b c "Adore Me". Inc.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  12. ^ "Online Retail Eclipses Brick & Mortar By 6 to 1". www.mediapost.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  13. ^ Greenfield, Rebecca; Bhasin, Kim (April 28, 2016). "The Future of Shopping: Trapping You in a Club You Didn't Know You Joined". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  14. ^ Schlossberg, Mallory (January 12, 2016). "Furious customers are calling a hot lingerie startup a scam because of its sales model". Business Insider. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  15. ^ Mantor, FashionNetwork.com, Cassidy. "Amid legal dispute, Adore Me launches scholarship program for women in business". FashionNetwork.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  16. ^ a b O'Brien, Sara Ashley. "Plus-size models sell more bras". CNN Money. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Chapin, Adele (2016-06-17). "Adore Me's Plan To Take on Victoria's Secret Involves Nordstrom". Racked. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  18. ^ Borchardt, Debra (2016-09-19). "Adore Me Launching All Size Activewear Collection". WWD. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  19. ^ Mantor, FashionNetwork.com, Cassidy. "Adore Me makes big splash into swimwear". FashionNetwork.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  20. ^ Yamagata, Erin. "AdoreMe". thestyleline.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "Free Shipping, Free exchanges & Easy Returns". Adore Me. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  22. ^ Booth, Barbara (2016-02-24). "Adore Me's new plan to upend Victoria's Secret". CNBC. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  23. ^ Borchardt, Debra (2016-06-15). "Online Retailer Adore Me to Sell in Select Nordstrom Stores". WWD. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  24. ^ "Exclusive: Adore Me strikes lingerie deal with Lord & Taylor - New York Business Journal". New York Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  25. ^ "This lingerie company is using one of Victoria's Secret's own models to compete with the brand". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  26. ^ "Iskra Lawrence received a death threat from terrifying internet troll". Cosmopolitan. 2016-09-26. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  27. ^ "Victoria's Secret's main competitor is releasing a lingerie commercial that's unlike anything we've ever seen". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  28. ^ Hendrix, Kelsey. "Nina Agdal is the new face of Adore Me Swimwear". SI.com. Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  29. ^ Personal email received October 24, 2017 from "Stephanie - Adore Me (Customer Care)" (help@adoreme.com).