Why Russell Wilson and Ciara’s Fashion Firm The House of LR&C is Betting on a Physical Store

The House of LR&C, a new fashion startup, launched in 2020 almost a year into the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Over one year later, the digitally-native brand is thriving, with plans to open its first-ever brick-and-mortar store next month.

“We really want to be where the consumer needs us to be,” said Christine Day, cofounder and president of The House of LR&C and former Lululemon CEO.

Day, who spoke at the company’s virtual presentation at the 24th annual ICR conference on Wednesday, founded the firm along with NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, and Grammy-Award winning singer Ciara. The company, founded with a focus on “democratizing fashion,” is looking to raise between $20 million and $50 million in series A funding this year, Axios reported.

In addition to its online channels, The House of LR&C sells products in Kohl’s and Nordstrom via wholesale partnerships. Now, the company will open its first-ever store near its Seattle headquarters next month, CNBC reported. The pop-up store will include products across its three apparel brands: The Good Man Brand, LITA by Ciara, and Human Nation.

According to Day, The House of LR&C is focused on providing a true “omnichannel experience for the customer so they can shop wherever is convenient for them in today’s world.” That can include everything from online to physical stores to strategic partners.

“There’s a lot of good reasons to partner with high quality strategic partners,” Day said, mentioning benefits to customer acquisition, stronger gross margins, converting cash, visibility, brand awareness, and the ability to hit minimum buys as a new brand. 

Day aims to have the firm’s omnichannel experience present in all three selling channels. For example, in the brick-and-mortar store, consumers will be able to scan bar codes on each garment to learn more about materials, the manufacturing process, and other items that might pair nicely. Associates that make sales via this code on the e-commerce site also receive commission for their work.

“It really breaks down the barriers that we’ve seen in retail about having a physical store versus omni channel and how you fairly compensate people for that,” Day said. “We’re super excited about what that brings us in terms of new technology, but also owning customer data insights and information as well.”

House of LR&C is the latest digitally native retailer to plot a brick-and-mortar expansion. Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage X Fenty will soon open stores in five U.S. cities. Other digital brands such as Allbirds and Warby Parker have also carried out store expansion plans in recent years.

Having diversified selling channels also gives companies options in the event of city-wide shutdowns or unexpected changes in consumer behavior.

“By having the type of channels and reach that we do, we’re prepared for whatever ups and downs come in this coming year,” Day said. “So we can easily shift into a direct to consumer on our own or through our partners direct to consumer.”

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