ModCloth

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ModCloth
Subsidiary
Industry Retail, Apparel, e-commerce
Founded 2002 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Founder Eric Koger
Susan Gregg-Koger
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Key people
Matthew Kaness (CEO)
Products Clothing, accessories, decor
Revenue $150 million+ (2014)[1]
Number of employees
350+[2]
Parent Jet.com (Walmart)
Website modcloth.com

ModCloth is an American online retailer of indie and vintage-inspired women’s clothing.[3] The company is headquartered in San Francisco[4] with an office in Los Angeles and a joint office/fulfillment center in Pittsburgh.[5]

History[edit]

ModCloth was founded in 2002 by Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger. Both Susan and Eric were students at Carnegie Mellon University and launched ModCloth as an online website to sell pre-owned vintage dresses.[6] ModCloth grossed $18,000 in revenue in 2005, and received its first round of seed funding in 2008.[7] In 2009, ModCloth reported $15 million in revenue,[8] allowing them to relocate headquarters from Pittsburgh's Strip District to San Francisco.[9] ModCloth reported $100 million in revenue in 2012[10] and $150 million in 2014.[11]

In 2015, ModCloth became a multi-channel retailer when it opened its first pop-up Fit Shop in Los Angeles, followed by another in San Francisco.[12] ModCloth pop up shops carry a curated collection of ModCloth clothing and home decor, along with select pieces from local artists.[13] ModCloth uses these pop-up stores to promote existing online and social media services such as Fit for Me and the Style Gallery.[14] ModCloth will be opening pop-up stores in other cities as part of the 2016 “ModCloth IRL Tour”.[15] Cities expecting to see pop-up shops include Washington D.C., Portland, Austin, and Pittsburgh.[16] ModCloth plans to open permanent locations following these temporary store experiments.[17]

In March 2017, it was announced that ModCloth had been acquired by Walmart subsidiary Jet.com[18] for between $51 million to $75 million.[19]

Stance on body image[edit]

Truth in Advertising Act endorsement[edit]

In 2014, ModCloth became the first retailer to sign the Heroes Pledge For Advertisers.[20] As an endorser, ModCloth committed to not use Photoshop to “change the shape, size, proportion, color, and/or remove/enhance the physical features” of its advertising models in post-production.[21] In June 2016, ModCloth hosted an event on Capitol Hill to support the 2016 Truth in Advertising Act. Modcloth’s Susan Kroger spoke at this event along with Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen[22] who was one of the introducers of the Act.[23]

Real people as models[edit]

In 2015, ModCloth began using staff members as models for its swimwear advertising campaigns.[24][25][26][27] ModCloth’s swimsuit campaign launched in response to research that correlated low self-esteem for women when exposed to thin models.[28]

Plus-size rebranding[edit]

In 2015, ModCloth removed the plus-size term from its site.[29] The company’s decision was supported by a ModCloth survey, which concluded that almost two-thirds of women were embarrassed to shop in a separate section for plus-labeled clothing.[30] The plus-size clothing was integrated into the greater site and made shoppable through size filters.[31] The “plus-size” label has also been replaced by “extended sizes”, which will also contain extra-small, petite, and tall clothing.[32]

Crowdsourcing initiatives[edit]

ModCloth has developed several crowdsourcing initiatives that have impacted its product line.[33]

Style Gallery[edit]

Style Gallery is a user-generated image gallery where customers send photos of themselves modelling in a purchased ModCloth garment.[34] These photos are then featured on the ModCloth blog, allowing visitors to see how a certain clothing item looks when worn by a real customer rather than a professional model.[35]

Fit For Me[edit]

Fit For Me is a feature on the ModCloth app which allows users to see suggestions for clothing that will fit their exact body shape based on other users’ reviews.[36] Users input their own body measurements when they leave a review for a previously purchased product. Fit For Me uses this data to generate specific clothing recommendations depending on the user’s measurements.[37][38]

Be The Buyer[edit]

In 2009, ModCloth ran the Be The Buyer program which allowed users to decide which clothing designs would be produced and sold by ModCloth.[39] Users voted on clothing samples via an online tradeshow. If a certain product received a large enough quantity of votes, it would be pushed to production and available for purchase on ModCloth’s website.[40] Using this model, ModCloth became the first retailer to supplement an existing business model with crowdsourcing efforts.[41]

Make the Cut[edit]

ModCloth ran the Make the Cut contest in 2012, where ModCloth created products based on consumer ideas.[42] Customers were invited to submit clothing sketches which were voted on by other users. The contest winners had their sketches adapted into real clothing for the spring line, with each Make the Cut garment product featuring the artist’s name printed on the label.[43]

Philanthropy[edit]

On March 5, 2012, ModCloth announced a donation of dresses to The Princess Project. For every dress purchased from its Fancy Frocks collection that day, ModCloth would donate a dress to the non-profit.[44][45]

In 2015, ModCloth began its partnership with Schoola to raise money for Malala Yousafzai’s Malala Fund, which advocates and supports education for young women.[46] ModCloth participates in the cause by donating clothing which Schoola sells for a discount. The proceeds are then donated to the Malala Fund.[47]

Accolades[edit]

  • 2016 – Selected as Small Company Winner for Brand Building Marketing Team of ‘’Marketers That Matter’’ award (which is sponsored by The Wall Street Journal)[48][49]
  • 2013 – Ranked 19th on Fast Company’s “World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” list [50]
  • 2013 – Ranked 14th on Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Social Media Companies” list [51]
  • 2012 – Founders Susan and Eric Koger named in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for Art & Style [52]
  • 2011 – Founders Susan and Eric Koger named to Forbes' “30 Under 30” list for Technology [53]
  • 2011 – Co-founder and CCO Susan Koger named a “Champion of Change” by The White House [54]
  • 2010 – Named Fastest-Growing Retail Company in America by Inc. [55]
  • 2010 – ModCloth receives a Webby Award for Best of the Web for Retail [56]
  • 2009 – Founders Susan and Eric Koger named number 2 and 3 in Inc.’s “30 Under 30” list for Technology [57]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "ModCloth goes from clicks to bricks with S.F. pop-up". SF Gate. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  3. ^ "About Us". ModCloth. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Company Overview of ModCloth, Inc.". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  5. ^ "ModCloth Overview". Crunchbase. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  6. ^ "How ModCloth Went From a College Dorm to $100 Million a Year". Mashable.com. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Susan and Eric Koger: Modcloth". New Venturist. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  8. ^ "ModCloth, Now With Over $100 Million In Annual Revenue, Is Going Mobile First". Tech Crunch. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Retailer ModCloth credits Pittsburgh team for company growth". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  10. ^ "ModCloth's 2012 ends shipping 1.2m orders, now with 1,200 featured designers, holiday requests up 52%". TheNextWeb.com. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  11. ^ "ModCloth Plans Huge Expansion Under New CEO". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  12. ^ Bilis, Madeline (4 August 2015). "Online retailer ModCloth models new brick-and-mortar concept near Union Square". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Wildly popular online shop pops up in Austin's trendiest district — for a limited time". Culture Map. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  14. ^ McCarthy, Allison (22 October 2015). "ModCloth's first brick-and-mortar a good fit in S.F.". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  15. ^ "ModCloth IRL Tour". ModCloth. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
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  17. ^ "Online retailer ModCloth models new brick-and-mortar concept near Union Square". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  18. ^ Asch, Andrew (17 March 2017). "ModCloth Acquired by WalMart's Jet.com". California Apparel News. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  19. ^ Associated Press (18 March 2017). "Walmart buys online clothing seller ModCloth". USA Today. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  20. ^ "ModCloth Is First Retailer To Sign Anti-Photoshop Pledge". Forbes. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
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  25. ^ Stern, Carly (27 April 2016). "Fashion label ModCloth ask its own STAFF to model swimwear alongside body-positive campaigners in powerful new ad to prove all shapes and sizes are beautiful". Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  26. ^ Feldman, Jamie (28 April 2016). "Modcloth's Latest Body-Positive Swim Shoot Is Its Best Yet". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  27. ^ Murray, Rheana (3 May 2016). "ModCloth proves we all have swimsuit bodies with new body-positive campaign". Today. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  28. ^ Davies, Anna. "Clothing Brand Uses Ph.D. Candidates as Models". Shape. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  29. ^ "#StyleForAll: We're Retiring the "Plus"". ModCloth. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  30. ^ "ModCloth Does Away With Its Plus-Size Section". Racked. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  31. ^ "How to Find Styles That Are Just Your Size". ModCloth. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016. >
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  35. ^ "How Modcloth Tries to Be a Fashion Friend and (Amazingly) Succeeds". Contently. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Enter Your Measurements on ModCloth and Now You Can Get Personalized Recommendations From Women Just Like You". Glamour.com. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
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  38. ^ "Fit For Me By ModCloth Makes Shopping Online Less Risky". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  39. ^ "3 Ecommerce Companies Revolutionizing Buyer Involvement". HubSpot. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
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  42. ^ "ModCloth Releases its Second Crowdsourced Dress Collection". SocialTimes. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
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  45. ^ "Prom For All!". ModCloth. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  46. ^ "ModCloth & Schoola Team Up To Support The Malala Fund, How you Can Support The Cause". Bustle.com. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  47. ^ "About the Malala Fund". Malala Fund. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
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  51. ^ "The Most Innovative Social Media Companies". Fast Company. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
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  53. ^ "30 Under 30: Technology". Forbes. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
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