Argent, the trending women’s workwear brand, recently opened a new store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood at 93 Crosby St. Before the pandemic, it had another location in the city, along with Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but along with other factors, low demand for workwear led to closures. This new location is similar but more interactive and meets the needs of the shifted hybrid workforce.
“We were able to spend two years really focusing on what we wanted to look like, what we wanted to achieve, what was realistic, and where opportunities were coming out of Covid. Timing has never been more on our side. We’ve never seen demand the way that we’re seeing it now. Women are coming in and looking for wardrobe overhauls. Styles have changed, they don’t know how to dress, their bodies have changed, etc., but also, it’s delayed consumerism,” shared Founder and CEO Sali Christeson. “So the brand’s in a really good place, product’s in a really good place, the team is in the best place we’ve ever been, we have the timing in our corner, and retail was the last piece to come into that equation.”
Argent is far from the only brand to re-open stores since the pandemic. Brands like Therabody, Parade, Brooklinen, and Frances Valentine, are all examples of digital brands that have announced store expansion plans over the past year. So, despite the looming economy, physical retail is in high demand. According to a September report by JLL
A value-aligned functional space is just as important as a functional product.
The new store features a relaxing sofa, larger fitting rooms with phone chargers, dedicated areas to take phone or video calls, and space for community networking events. And unlike many brands boasting their plans to provide community events, Argent has a genuine drive for it. It’s focused on helping women build their careers, and having a physical space to host events “allows for women to connect meaningfully in a way that might move their career forward, and Argent can be part of that, which is really why we exist,” shared Christeson.
At the brand’s store launch party last week, it had guests like Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Joanna Coles, a journalist and producer, and Aya Kanai, a fashion editor and current executive at Pinterest. These guests are part of Argent’s unique and inspiring group of Work Friends who are real-life successful businesswomen showcasing the brand’s products. So, it’s no surprise that its innovation in marketing extends to its physical retail strategy.
Wholesale acquires new customers and, like stores, helps customers understand the fit and features of the product.
In addition to standalone stores, the brand launched in Nordstrom in September to help grow its name in the physical realm and reach new customers. Argent is now in nine locations, and although the experience differs from its standalone stores, it still allows customers to familiarize themselves with the product and all its features. The product is known for functionality, with various interior pockets to carry what most women have to dig through their purses to find. A physical presence, direct-to-consumer or wholesale, allows the customer to try and see those functional features in real life.
Specifically, Argent has found their stores have an average order value of about three-fold online, which is also great independently. And so far, the new New York store’s average order value is three-and-a-half that of online. “So there’s something that happens when she’s in the space and able to figure out her sizing, and when she sees the quality and the fit in person, it’s very compelling,” said Christeson.
Although its New York location is the first to open, Argent plans to open more stores next year across various markets. And in terms of Nordstrom, the brand is thrilled with the partnership and expressed growth potential but no specific plans. But, for now, it’s clear the workforce is back, and women are ready to ditch the sweatpants in place of high-quality, functional, and value-aligned products. Products that can now be tested and experienced in real life.