Hong Kong online fashion retailer Grana is sprinting into the new year with brick-and-mortar growth, a Tmall shop concept and a recently hired executive for the U.S. market.
The company recently tapped Ariella Werner-Seidler as U.S. experience director, where she’ll be charged with handling leasing and merchandising of the company’s physical spaces. She’s overseeing the rollout of the company’s New York pop-up — possibly in SoHo — that’s scheduled for an April opening.
The company in the second quarter has plans to open on Alibaba Group’s Tmall shopping platform. Last year, Alibaba invested in Grana. There are also plans for a physical pop-up showroom in Shanghai, slated for the second quarter.
The company’s retail approach uses a showroom concept that allows visitors to try product on and place orders, with merchandise then shipped to the store or a customer’s home.
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“We see brick-and-mortar as a really important short- to medium-term brand-building exercise to reach more people….For us, it’s not a core sales generator. It’s really just a supplementary way to acquire customers,” says Grana founder/CEO Luke Grana.
The company this month began taking preorders for its activewear line, Grana Move, due out Feb. 3. The collection — eight styles for women and five for men — retails for between $25 and $45.
Grana hopes to build a global brand positioned around quality and value, with apparel it says is priced lower than competitors using fabrics such as silks from China, Mongolian cashmere and Japanese denim.
The company’s growth spurt follows its close on a $10 million Series A round in October. The digital brand sells through its web site and ships orders from a Hong Kong warehouse, where it also has headquarters. The privately held company projects growth in the business of about 300 percent this year, following 500 percent growth last year.