Bonobos raises $55 million to open new stores

Bonobos raised $55 million in venture capital funding, for a total of $128 million, with plans to expand. The online menswear brand plans to use the investment to grow from 10 to 40 physical stores in the United States by 2016.

Bonobo's physical locations do not actually sell apparel but instead are 1,500 sq. ft. showrooms where customers can try on items and get advice from "guides" before placing an order online. All items are shipped free of charge to the shopper's home. Apparel can also be found in some Nordstrom outposts. Nordstrom bought a minority stake in the online company for $16 million in 2012.

Bonobos learned early on that an online presence could be strengthened by a physical presence.

"We said we would never be offline, and then, wait a second," Andy Dunn, co-founder and CEO told the New York Times. "We hit a big turning point. We realized offline really works."

The New York City-based retailer opened store fronts in Dallas last month.

In February, the company launched womenswear under the name AYR, six years after the original menswear line debuted, reported Crain's New York Business. In the first 100 days, the brand sold $500,000 worth of merchandise, which was a faster rate than the men's label.

For more:
-See this New York Times story
-See this Crain's New York Business article

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