Have you heard of Halsbrook? It’s a New York based, online shopping destination that caters to the clothing and accessory needs of mature women. They’ve managed to attract designers like Armani, Tahari and Max Mara just to name a few. It’s a good thing, because for the most part, the plus forty woman has been largely ignored in the e-commerce world. Retailers have been reluctant to target older consumers online, and for good reason.
Older customers tend to be more reluctant when it comes to learning to maneurvure their way around the world wide web. That can be attributed to lack of knowledge or know how; lack of trust, especially giving out their personal information; lack of patience, and numerous other factors. They are less likely to be found on facebook, twitter and other social media platforms. So, getting them out of the stores, and onto the internet has, and i’m sure will continue to be quite a challenge.
To me, this situation is very reminiscent of the plus size fashion industry. Initially, very few retailers and manufacturers were willing to acknowledge and cater to the needs of the plus size woman. However, when women like Anna Nicole Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah and others began to grace the covers of various magazines, people, and especially manufacturers and retailers took notice. In addition, and very importantly, plus size bloggers got out on the internet, and championed their cause. These beautiful women are very proud of their curves, and they are not afraid to show them. Of course, designers and retailers took notice, and action. The result has been overwhelmingly positive. There is obviously still progress to be made, but they’ve had good results.
Ok, enough about all that. Back to Halsbrook. Online sales, as expected has been underwhelming, but with the 35 year olds coming of age in five years, I’m sure that will change. It’ll be interesting to see who follows suit, especially since plus forty women happen to be some of the biggest spenders. Time will tell.