Justice’s revamp is off to a strong start, with the tween retailer’s digital store valued at $250 million. But its parent company’s co-founder believes the juniors brand can drive $500 million online.
The retailer, which brand management firm Bluestar Alliance bought out of bankruptcy for approximately $90 million in November, put out a 90-day progress report on its e-commerce business, highlighting profitable top-line growth.
Among the specific improvements in the three months since the site launch, Justice said reduced discounting that stemmed from a better understanding of customer behavior and interests ultimately strengthened its gross margins.
Justice also managed to reduce both shipping and fulfillment costs, it added. For the former, the company built algorithms focused on free shipping conversion. Through Aug. 1, the retailer is offering free shipping on pre-tax, post-discount purchases of $75 or more.
Justice said it cut fulfillment costs without having to break its service-level agreements, which define the exact terms the retailer sets with vendors, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.
The brand, formerly owned by Ascena Retail Group, also significantly reduced marketing expenses by spending more efficiently on paid media.
The retailer’s second wind came with the help of full-stack e-commerce platform Nogin, an agency that offers AI-based, predictive data analytics-powered services to help brands grow digital sales. Referring to itself as a “Commerce as a Service” company, Nogin offers a range of e-commerce services from strategy and creative to logistics and performance marketing with the goal of making e-commerce sites profitable within 90 days.
“Justice had built a great online store that was a hit with tweens and parents alike. However, as we looked to exponentially grow this business, we recognized the need to move the brand onto a next-generation platform,” Bluestar Alliance chief operating officer and co-founder Ralph Gindi said. “Our partnership with Nogin takes us to that level without the requisite R&D investments and leaves us positioned to build Justice.com into what we hope can ultimately become a $500 million enterprise.”
When Nogin began working with Justice, the company invited 25 of the retailer’s staffers handling e-commerce, creative, design and production to work side by side at its California offices.
“By relying on Nogin Intelligent Commerce, experts and services, Justice also gained greater freedom to zero-in on other strategic priorities,” Gindi added, elaborating on the benefits realized from making the switch from Justice’s prior legacy partner. “We’re continuing to evolve the Justice brand by innovating our assortments, exploring deeper connections with our customers and forging new relationships with global social media influencers.”
Nogin also runs the e-commerce operations of Bluestar Alliance brands Hurley and Bebe, and has powered the platforms of brands including Lululemon, Honeywell, True Religion, Yeezy and Charming Charlie.
“We’ve been able to change the financial optics of these brands, where they are profitable and can flourish, while keeping the DNA of the brands,” Jan-Christopher Nugent, CEO of Nogin, previously told Sourcing Journal.
Nogin, formerly known as Branded Online, also recently acquired vintage-inspired women’s wear seller ModCloth.
While Justice has prioritized the e-commerce side of its business with the Nogin partnership, the brand is putting itself back out there in the brick-and-mortar sphere. Although it currently operates no stores of its own, the tween brand has recently returned to the physical channel ahead of the back-to-school season in partnership with Walmart.
The brand is offering a collection of more than 140 items including trend-inspired designs in tween fashion, jewelry and accessories and home items including bedding and bath in 2,400 Walmart stores and on its website.
At Walmart.com/justicegirls, product prices start at $8 for athleisure separates, $18 for oversized hoodies, and range between $20 to $40 for bedding and bath accessories.