Naadam’s pop-up twist: It only sells one type of sweater

Glossy – The front window of cashmere sweater brand Naadam’s SoHo store is emblazoned with a giant “75,” advertising the brand’s $75 cashmere sweater. But the store is not just highlighting the $75 sweater; it is literally the only thing available to purchase in the store. Founder Matt Scanlan opened the store dedicated to the single product as a reaction to the sometimes overwhelming number of choices consumers face.

“It’s a much simpler proposition,” said Scanlan. “Some people want fewer choices. They don’t want to be bombarded with options. The fewer SKUs we offer, the faster and simpler it is for them. We can also grow the company faster because we don’t need to analyze data across a bunch of variables. It’s one sweater in a handful of colors, so it’s easier to optimize.”

Scanlan said the simplified store, plus the fact that it offers sweaters customized with embroidery and monograms on site, has led to a significant conversion rate, particularly compared to the brand’s online store. Naadam’s online store typically sees hundreds of thousands of visitors per month. Despite that, conversion rates are low, around 1 or 2 percent, according to Scanlan. Conversely, the single-product store sees far fewer people actually visiting — a few hundred per day — yet conversion rates are much higher. “We’ve sold close to 100,000 sweaters [in-store] since the store opened in November,” he said.

“Uber-focused brands, selling only one product category, have become a hot trend in retail,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at BRP, retail consulting firm. “If you can differentiate your product in a way that’s compelling, it can drive enough demand for a profitable retail business. This has been the case for successful subscription services for products like razor blades, socks and ties.”

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