Men rarely shop for clothes online. I know this anecdotally because I’m a man who doesn’t shop for clothing online, nor do I know anyone who does – at least openly – but there are numbers to back it up, too.
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Amsterdam-based The Cloakroom wants to accelerate that growth, however, by attempting to “redefine apparel shopping for men”.
Lofty goals aside, The Cloakroom may just be the what some men need, offering a service where personal stylists will take care of all his shopping needs – free of charge (not the clothing, but the service, mind you).
How it works: New members take an online ‘style quiz’, and the data they share will be the basis of a style consultation with a professional stylist (as in, an actual human being).
Said stylist (mine is named Eline) will then select up to 12 items and ship it to the customer for free, effectively turning mens’ living rooms into fitting rooms because apparently that’s how we like to shop for clothes.
Even better: customers can return the clothing for free as well.
If he, on the other hand, decides to keep one or more items, he can pay by credit card at prices that The Cloakroom claims will be on par with the prices one pays at a traditional brick-and-mortar store.
The Cloakroom is today announcing that it has raised a small round of seed funding totalling $100,000 in anticipation of a larger round of VC financing slated for later this year.
Backers of the company at this early stage are some prominent European angel investors, including Turkish entrepreneur Sina Afra (Markafoni) and Danish entrepreneur Klaus Nyengaard, who scaled Just-Eat from 35 to 1,000 employees in five years.
The lead investor for the seed round is Hein Pretorius, a seasoned e-commerce business executive who is currently CEO of Allegro Group. Pretorius comments on the funding round:
“Recommendation engines work relatively well when it comes to books or hardware, but apparels are characterized by highly personal and irrational consumption patterns.
The best way to remove friction from the process is to combine the convenience of online shopping with the expert personalized service one would expect from only the best high street retail stores in the world.”
The Cloakroom’s grand vision is to enable all independent stylists and personal shoppers – typically freelancers who work on a commission basis – to “supercharge their work” on a global scale, and make them more efficient.
From left to right: The Cloakroom co-founders Asbjorn Jorgensen and Kasper Brandi Petersen, together with personal stylist Jessica van Aken.
Jorgensen explains what The Cloakroom is all about:
“The vision is to create a global platform where stylists can showcase their work and dig up new leads. We operate with retail margins, but a significantly lower cost base.
We do not have expensive retail space in the main shopping streets and our stylists are commission-based freelancers who grow and manage their own client portfolios.
We enable them to be more efficient than they could ever be on their own. Through us they have access to the best brands, dedicated Cloakroom delivery trucks, and a world-class CRM system.”
Image credit: Thinkstock