You know how when you buy something on the Internet, the most frustrating thing is generally having to guess as to whether or not something will fit you well? I have a hard time knowing if it will look right even when I can see the garment on a rack in person, let alone when I only see it on a model via my home computer’s monitor. But at the same time, that’s kind of the nice thing about online shopping: you don’t have to bother with shopping in person at all, you just sit at home and do it. Menswear retailer Bonobos seems to want to fuse online shopping and in-person shopping to create…well, stores where you can’t actually obtain anything there.
Bonobos is beginning to open “guideshops,” which will allow shoppers to come in, try on clothes and then order their choices online, which will then arrive to their residences eventually. At first, this sounded slightly appealing to me — “Hey!” I thought, “I always wind up ordering stuff online anyway because it can be cheaper. It’d be nice to try on that stuff first!” And then I remember that I already do that when I go to retail stores and try on stuff and then buy that stuff online.
I’m kind of amazed somebody at Bonobos thought this was a decent idea considering the fact that one of the biggest reasons people who do prefer online shopping go to retail stores and actually buy things there is because they need those clothes immediately. If they remove that beneficial aspect to the process, I’m pretty sure they’ll just wind up with a bunch of people trying on stuff, deciding they might as well obtain their instant gratification elsewhere and snagging their $78 lightweight plaid shirt somewhere — anywhere — else.
But seriously: yes, Bonobos was primarily an online retailer prior to this — you could obtain their clothes in person at select locations that were not their own stores — so at least they won’t be simply removing their customers’ ability to buy the clothes in person. I just don’t quite understand why they assumed that opening stores wherein you can’t buy anything sounded like a decent idea. That’s like opening a chocolate shop where people get to smell truffles, see if they think they’ll like them in their stomachs and be forced to wait multiple days to actually consume the candy. (Dear chocolate retailers: don’t you dare get any f’ing ideas. When I have a craving, I need to solved.)
Photos: Bonobos & Mean Girls.