For years Princess Polly has had an ever-changing, on-trend selection of women’s clothing available for its Gen Z customers to buy online.
Using social media and influencers, the Australian brand has grown to be a popular label since it arrived in the United States in 2019. U.S. sales make up the majority of the label’s revenue.
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Now Princess Polly is expanding its reach to a 3,370-square-foot brick-and-mortar store with 200 on-trend styles where customers can touch and feel products, try them on and be part of the Princess Polly universe.
The first store opens Friday at the Westfield Century City shopping center, a popular retail venue populated by a Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, the West Coast’s first Eataly and scores of specialty outposts.
“I would say at Princess Polly, we pride ourselves on listening to our customers, and they have wanted a store,” said Alexandria Collis, the brand’s senior director of operations. “We decided on Los Angeles because it is a major city and a trend-driven city.”
Physical retail is a new business strategy for Princess Polly, which earlier this year signed a deal to be carried in PacSun stores after being offered on PacSun’s website. That deal was recently expanded to a Princess Polly fall capsule collection being stocked by 100 PacSun stores. “PacSun is our first wholesale partner, and we are thrilled to be working with them,” Collis said. “We know our customer frequently shops at PacSun.”
Princess Polly was launched on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2005 by husband-and-wife team Wez and Eirin Bryett, co-chief executives of Princess Polly, who started with a physical store, but in 2010 transitioned to online when direct-to-consumer sales became popular. In 2018, the Bryetts sold a majority interest in Princess Polly to Summit Partners, based in Boston, to help expand the brand into the U.S. and elsewhere.
Summit Partners, which has acquired other direct-to-consumer fashion companies, in addition to Princess Polly, created A.k.a. Brands to grow next generation fashion brands. It went public in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021. Currently the A.k.a. Brands portfolio includes Princess Polly, the largest, as well as Culture Kings, Petal & Pup and Mnml.
For the second quarter ending June 30, A.k.a. Brands had $80 million in net sales in the U.S., down 2.8 percent from the previous second quarter.
Princess Polly has grown rapidly over the years by making clothing for women between the ages of 15 and 25 who want trendy apparel at a reasonable price, generally between $48 to $78. “We have new styles every week,” Collis said. “We are known for dresses, from a homecoming dress, a graduation dress to back to school. We do everything from a prom dress to a graphic T.”
This could be the first of many Princess Polly outposts if business goes well in Century City. “We are going to see how this store does and listen to our customer,” Collis said. “If they want more stores, we will continue to scale.”
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