Posts tagged with "San Francisco"

Taking your measure: At Redthread, the perfect pair of jeans is just a 3D body scan away

May 15, 2019

For every woman we see on the street, strutting her stuff in a skintight pair of jeans, there’s another in a dressing room somewhere, quietly swearing because she cannot find of pair that fits both her waist and her hips.

In fact, Meghan Litchfield, the founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Redthread recently told Wired that she spent years dreading going into a store to shop for jeans.

There were the garden-variety complaints: inconsistent sizing between brands, the way back pockets stretched or sagged, the humiliation of walking into a dressing room with half a dozen options only to walk out empty-handed. Even the best candidates were ill-fitting. Most of the time, she’d buy jeans one size up to fit her hips; then, ask a tailor take them in at the waist.

Litchfield, formerly a vice president at GoPro, figured there must be a way to shop that wasn’t so demoralizing. Instead of taking off-the-rack clothes to the tailor, what if she could buy her clothes tailor-made? And what if she could make that happen for other women, too?

Now, Wired reports, her company creates bespoke clothing for anyone with a smartphone. Customers choose an item from Redthread’s website, fill out a “fit quiz,” and capture a series of full-body photos with their phone. Redthread pulls 3D measurement data from those photos and, combined with a customer’s fit preferences, creates a made-to-order item.

Redthread currently offers an essential ankle pant, essential wide leg pant, a tee, and a snap jacket—fitted to the customer’s personal requirements, hand-sewn in San Francisco, and shipped to the front door in a week for just $4.99. If customers don’t like the results, that $4.99 is quickly refunded; if the patent-pending technology provides the perfect fit, the full price is invoiced ($128 for the ankle pants and $78 for the tee).

The result, Litchfield hopes, will go beyond simply outfitting a more diverse set of body types. It will upend the way clothes are bought, sold, and designed in the future.

Redthread licenses its photographic measurement technology from a company called CALA, which lifts 15 exact measurements from the pictures the customer sends in. The company then uses those measurements to tailor a garment in a dozen or so places before shipping it out.

This kind of customization represents “a huge shift in the industry,” says Sophie Marchessou, a partner at McKinsey who consults on retail brands. A McKinsey report on The State of Fashion in 2019 pointed to personalization as a key trend— especially among younger customers, noting, “They have a desire to individualize products, and they’re often willing to pay a premium for it.”

While custom-made clothing might save retailers money on returns and overstock, Marchessou says it’s not yet sustainable for most brands to ship out custom-produced single orders. Technologies like automated sewing and 3D printing for clothes could make it easier to scale up a bespoke garment business (and also drive down costs), but those technologies aren’t widely accessible yet.

Litchfield, for her part, told Wired that she imagines a world “where stacks of apparel inventory and sizes are eliminated, everyone has their measurements in a digital wallet, and all clothing is created on-demand, personalized to each person.” She thinks we’ll get there, eventually—one pair of made-to-measure pants at a time.

Research contact: @WIRED

Starbucks Delivers expands to more U.S. cities, powered by Uber Eats

January 23, 2019

After a successful pilot test in Miami, on January 22, Starbucks announced the expansion of its delivery service to another six cities nationwide.

The rollout, in partnership with Uber Eats, began on Tuesday in San Francisco—and the company says that it “remains on track to bring Starbucks Delivers to nearly one-quarter of [our] U.S. company-operated stores, “ with planned expansion to select stores in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., in the coming weeks.

According to the Seattle-based coffee chain, the Miami test, also powered by Uber Eats, saw “strong demand, including repeat business throughout the day and positive feedback from customers.”

What’s more, Starbucks Delivers will launch a new pilot later this month in London—its first in Europe, also powered by Uber Eats—following other overseas delivery initiatives in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, Columbia, and Chile.

The company plans on tapping into a global $95 billion online food delivery market. partnership Starbucks will leverage Uber’s expertise as one of the fastest-growing meal delivery services in the United States—reaching Uber’s current customers, as well as offering the existing Starbucks clientele a new method for including the chain’s beverages in their daily routines.

“We know we have untapped customer demand for Starbucks Delivers in the United States and, starting today, we’re expanding our best-in-class experience to our customers both in and out of our stores,” said Roz Brewer, group president and chief operating officer for Starbucks. “We’re building on key learnings from past delivery pilots and by integrating our ordering technology directly with Uber Eats, we’ve unlocked the ability to bring Starbucks to customers for those times when they’re not able to come to us.”

Customers will be able to access Starbucks Delivers through the Uber Eats mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices. With approximately 95% of core menu items available directly from the Starbucks menu, customers will be able to customize their orders just as they would when ordering on Starbucks mobile apps. Delivery orders will come with an initial $2.49 booking fee.

“At Uber Eats, we’re always looking for new ways to offer people the widest selection of food they love. That’s why we’re so excited to deliver Starbucks fans their favorite food and beverages in a way that’s as easy as requesting a ride,” said Jason Droege, VP and head of UberEverything. “Be it breakfast delivered straight to the soccer field or afternoon lattés to the office, we know this partnership will delight our customers.”

Starbucks Delivers represents the next evolution of the company’s approach to delivery and expanding its digital relationships with customers. In addition to the pilot in Miami and a pilot in the Empire State Building, Starbucks previously tested delivery in Seattle in 2015 for members of the company’s Starbucks Rewards loyalty program.

Starbucks Delivers was first announced in August 2018 in China through a partnership with Alibaba and on-demand food delivery service Ele.me. By the end of 2018, delivery services had expanded to 2,000 stores across 30 cities in China, while also being introduced to select stores in Tokyo and Miami.

Research contact: #starbucksdelivery

Greatest hits: Punching gets ‘poshified’ at an upscale boxing boutique

January 18, 2019

Get ready to rumble—but not in a wrestling ring. Rumble—a rarified boxing club that opened its doors in 2016—already has a cult following at its group classes in Manhattan, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The luxe Rumble has attracted an upscale clientele of professionals and celebrities with its posh, crimson-lit workout rooms—enlivened by nightclub-quality sound systems blasting upbeat hip-hop music; and loft-like, high-tech architectural features.

According to a January 16 report by The Wall Street Journal, its fans include social media-savvy supermodels like Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Adriana Lima, and stylish male celebs like David Beckham, Chris Hemsworth, and Scott Eastwood—all of whom happily Instagram their jabs and crosses.

“Celebrities started showing that boxing didn’t have to be grungy,” Andy Stenzler, Rumble’s CEO, told the Journal. “That you didn’t have to hit each other to get a great workout.”

Boxing may be a centuries-old sport, but the combination of inviting spaces, trainers who aren’t bullies, and circuit-style classes feels fresh. At the chain’s elite studios, half of the space is filled with weight-training benches and dumbbells; the other half, by 185-pound boxing bags. Even the boxing gloves don’t reek of sweat; they’re stored on ski-boot heaters that kill bacteria. And the teardrop-shaped bags don’t hurt your wrists; they’re filled with water, which is more forgiving than sand.

Inside, the joint is jumping: Every 50-minute class offer two groups of 30 people each an opportunity to learn boxing— starting from introductory level instruction; and adding intensity and skill levels as participants progress (as well as private training).

Beginner-level group courses offer cardio-fueled warm-ups, pre-class instructions on the dynamics of six punches, three rounds of boxing on the bags, and three rounds of strength and conditioning.

Newbies need not fear getting punched in the nose. “We want it to be fun, not intimidating,” Stenzler told the news outlet.

First-time classes cost $32, “and,” the chain says, “we will hit you with the second one on us.” Ten classes cost $300; a private training session, $160.

Subtract the combat and, Rumble promises, boxing is still a killer total-body workout. “You’re constantly moving,” Chris Gagliardi, a certified personal trainer, told the Journal. “It’s challenging muscular endurance, strength, flexibility, body composition, your brain. You’re working on power, speed, balance, agility, coordination. It’s a lot of bang for your buck,” he said.

And if you don’t want to actually go to the gym, Rumble is taking things a step further.: Try At Home 360, a Peloton-esque venture that combines a Technogym boxing bag ($1,700, technogym.com) with a $39/month subscription for live and on-demand.

Research contact: @RumbleBoxingNYC

 

Allbirds perches in New York City and plans more stores nationwide

September 5, 2018

The newest product to come out of Silicon Valley needs no tech support—but it’s supporting the feet of such well-known techies as Google Co-founder Larry Page, former Twitter chief Dick Costolo, and venture capitalists Ben Horowitz and Mary Meeker, according to a September 4 report by CNBC.

Called Allbirds, the new brand of footwear—produced with such sustainable resources as merino wool, tree fibers, and sugar— already has won over customers on the West Coast and is expanding fast. The company opened its first store on the East Coast, in New York City, just after Labor Day.

At more than 4,800 square feet, the new flagship location in New York’s SoHo neighborhood on Spring Street will include a “service bar” to help buyers find the right size, along with room for customers to lounge. It will replace its temporary home on Prince Street, which was about 900 square feet and is closing later this week.

Like the wildly popular Warby Parker (eyeglasses), Casper (mattresses), and  Everlane (clothing), Allbirds began business as an etailer.

The company only recently began opening stores, serving as a place for shoppers to try on the sneakers before buying and helping create more buzz around the brand. The company has since launched a new sneaker made out of tree fibers and flip-flops made out of sugar, along with a kids’ line called Smallbirds.

Indeed, the brand has become so buzzworthy that, last month, actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio became an investor, People magazine reported.

Creating sustainable consumer products requires a deep commitment from brands that understand the role they have in helping solve our environmental crisis,” DiCaprio said in an exclusive statement. “Allbirds is on the forefront of developing new materials that will serve as a model for the footwear industry. This kind of innovation is crucial for creating a more sustainable future. I am proud to join the company as an investor.”

“Given how tactile our product and brand story is, it’s important that we continue to create these opportunities to interact with customers,” Allbirds Co-founder Joey Zwillinger said. “Our goal is to continue to create retail spaces that allow customers to truly engage with the brand in an authentic off-line experience that embodies Allbirds’ unique comfort and thoughtful design.”

Allbirds plans to open eight more stores in the United States in locations including Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles,  and Washington, D.C. The company also said it’s thinking about adding two locations overseas.

“There is and has been incredible pent-up demand for Allbirds around the world,” Zwillinger told CNBC. “When we launched the brand, we were thoughtful to keep our distribution limited to the regions we felt we could service impeccably — the United States  and New Zealand, our home countries.”

Since then, Allbirds has grown into Australia and Canada.

Research contact: lauren.thomas@nbcuni.com