Careers at Trunk Club
Trunk Club’s mission is to ease the seemingly simple but overwhelming task of clothes shopping.
Trunk Club was founded in 2009 as a personalized clothing service by the ambitious Joanna Van Vleck, a then MBA student from the University of Oregon. Joanna began the service in Bend, Oregon, however, Trunk Club’s current headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois, a location initially purchased as a physical space where customers could purchase clothes in person, get fitted, or have a one-on-one with a stylist.
Joanna soon discovered that the most suitable target market was men over the age of 35 who are more inclined to place value in service rather than price. They discovered that the men in this age bracket were more likely to find value in a shopping service because this meant that they didn’t have to physically do it themselves. Joanna and her business partner Brie Chapman then had a genius idea that perhaps cemented Trunk Club’s imminent success. They realized that very few men will identify with terms such as ‘personal shopping’ but most men definitely with ‘clubs’, and just like that the Trunk Club idea was ready for take-off.
Trunk Club’s business model would be an additional catalyst for the business’s success. Since the targeted consumers want to avoid the hassle of having to go shopping and would much rather prefer that their merchandise is delivered, it was completely unnecessary for Trunk Club to have a physical retail address. This ensured that Trunk Club did not incur costs in working capital and other fixed costs linked with securing a retail location.
It would not take much effort for Joanna to secure business relationships with some of the most popular and desirable brands and distributors. This meant that the customers could access their favorite brands and styles without the effort of having to go to the store. As for Trunk Club, the organization was able to make a similar margin as the retail store, but without the overhead costs that come with a physical address. Customers could also get the same items for the same price that they would have paid in a retail store, making it a win-win for Trunk Club and their clientele.
In its Series A funding, Trunk Club received $11 million, led by US Venture Partners. In 2014, Trunk Club was acquired by Nordstrom for about $350 million. Brian Spaly left Bonobos and took over as the CEO of the now growing Trunk Club. In 2015, Trunk Club had grown enough to broaden their target audience and launched a women’s styling services.
Today, Trunk Club operates as a wholesaler, selling clothes at a retail cost. Trunk Club also offers free stylist consultation to customers as well as free delivery of merchandise to customers’ home. The average price range per item for clothes at Trunk Club is between $100 and $300. Trunk Club currently has Club Houses in Charleston, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, New York, Hinsdale, and Highland Park.
The idea behind Trunk Club was to provide a solution to a simple problem, the inconvenience of shopping for clothes in stores. With Trunk Club, people can now discover a wide variety of quality clothing without ever having to go shopping, all at no extra cost. This, coupled with free expert stylist services, Trunk Club offers unparalleled convenience that keeps you looking dapper. With all these perks, it is not a wonder that the Company has achieved such massive success in such a short period of time.
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