With its hybrid in-store and online box service, Trunk Club making shopping for premium denim a relatively painless process.

Deep Dive

As ease of service and frictionless shopping become the standard for the average consumer, some companies have adapted to the evolving retail field: improving customer service, offering smart technology solutions and simplifying the overall shopping process. And Nordstrom has set out to achieve each of these benchmarks with its subsidiary Trunk Club, a hybrid in-store and online box service that has managed to make shopping for premium denim a relatively painless process.

Through Trunk Club, which Nordstrom purchased in 2014, stylists (not algorithms) curate a selection of clothing and accessories based on shoppers’ noted preferences. And for those wanting an even more hands-on approach, the brand has seven “clubhouses” around the country where in-store stylists take appointments.

“[Trunk Club] enables entry-level premium brands to gain more exposure to a larger clientele with this service and because it’s so simple, it allows customers to trade up or down from the brands they are currently buying,” said fashion and retail analyst Charcy Evers.

The company has five core denim brands: Paige, Rag & Bone, AG, Frame and DL1961, each specializing in comfort, utility, fashion and tailoring to target a range of denim shoppers looking for mid-range to premium denim styles.

Based on market data, Trunk Club may be poised for growth in its denim sector. North America, which boasts the world’s largest denim market according to research firm Prescient & Strategic Intelligence is expected to see added growth in denim “due to the growing inclination of consumers toward self-service shopping, availability of multiple brands under the same roof, and varied price points offered under different brands.” That sounds a lot like what Trunk Club is already up to.

Evers said box services like Trunk Club lend themselves well to denim shopping. “It’s something many people dread to do—like swimsuit shopping—because it’s not forgiving. So, I think to have the ability to get styling advice coupled with many styles to choose from and then to be able to try them on in the privacy and convenience of your own home is a win-win all the way around.”