Online sales continue to grow in the specialty retail sector, but Ann Taylor and Loft have just decided to launch websites for their outlets, Ann Taylor Factory and Loft Outlet, which will go live on June 26. As their parent company (Ascena) has been struggling to retain relevancy amidst the retailpocalypse, these two brands have been helping keep it afloat.
Both Ann Taylor and Loft significantly outperform their sister brands under the Ascena umbrella when it comes to digital, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail. They have embraced omnichannel options, which allow retailers with a substantial store footprint to complement in-store assets with enhanced fulfillment. For example, Loft has implemented the Buy Online, Pick Up in Store feature. The creation of a website for its outlet might be the key to re-connecting with old audiences and appealing to new ones.
While Ann Taylor has been successfully climbing Gartner L2’s retail rankings for six years now, Loft’s progress has been more unpredictable. So an outlet website may be especially useful for the latter.
The number of consumer touchpoints a retailer provides across channels is positively correlated with purchase frequency, purchase size, and brand loyalty. By expanding their omnichannel solutions, Ann Taylor and Loft may be able to create a broader and brighter future for their apparel.