Everlane Experiments with Community & Commerce

The Washington Post: Everlane founder Michael Preysman “has spent the past two years experimenting with different types of formats … to find the right approach for Everlane stores. One concept, called Shoe Park, required customers to take off their shoes at the door … Shoppers were encouraged to try on a pair while they grabbed coffee or sipped a cocktail. It turned out to be fun, Preysman said, but not very practical.” He adds: “We turned it into such a playground that at the end of the month, we ended up with all sorts of damaged shoes.”

“Last winter’s ‘Cashmere Cabin,’ a six-week pop-up in New York’s West Village, allowed shoppers to browse sweaters while they drank mulled wine and hot chocolate. Cozy and enjoyable, sure. But a long-term business model? No. Other experiments, which the company called open houses, were built around Everlane’s mission to be as transparent as possible. Evening events showed customers where products were sourced and how they were made but didn’t offer many items for sale. That didn’t work, either, Preysman said.”

“That just confused everybody,” he said. “We learned that while people want experiences, they also want to shop. It’s got to be a mix of both community and commerce.”


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