New Strategies for Intimates Brand ‘Knix’ Drive Strong Sales

Date:

Share post:

At a time when many retailers are struggling with depressed sales and revenue as a result of the unprecedented COVID-19-related physical distancing measures, some companies are thriving thanks to new and innovative steps they’ve taken to adjust their operations and adapt to the current environment. Toronto-based intimate apparel brand Knix is one example of a company that has embraced new digital strategies, which have translated into strong sales.

“We’ve really had to challenge the way we typically think about doing things and find new and creative ways to do business,” says Joanna Griffiths, founder and CEO of Knix. The company originated as an online business in 2013 and opened its first two physical locations in Toronto and Vancouver last year. Despite its digital roots, however, Griffiths says in-person interaction has always been a big part of the brand’s culture, through regular community events, photo shoots, testing products and other ways of interacting with customers.

The pandemic has forced the company to temporarily close its physical stores and find different ways of engaging customers. One of the first steps Knix took to adapt in March was to accelerate the launch of a ‘Virtual Fittings’ program that had been in the works for some time. The program allows customers to schedule a video chat, during which a Knix consultant can help customers find products suitable for them and assist with determining the right size. The sessions have been very successful so far, Griffiths says, with high demand for appointments and a strong conversion rate.

EXTERIOR OF VANCOUVER STORE. PHOTO: VANMAG.COM

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

To our loyal customers in Toronto & Vancouver, we have made the difficult decision to close our permanent locations in both cities until further notice. Given the recent developments regarding the COVID-19 outbreaks, we’ve put the health and safety of our staff and of our community first. What we know for sure is that social distancing is one major way we can play our part in limiting the spread of this virus. For us, what may be a difficult internal decision is the easiest human decision we’ll ever make. We’re thinking of each and every one of you during this difficult time, and we will continue to do so in the upcoming days and weeks. One promise we can make is that we’ll be there for you— virtually, always! Our team is dedicated to talking to you, everyday. We’re dedicated to creating lasting relationships with you, getting to know your wants and needs, and of course getting you into your correct Knix size, now and always! Customers, you can find us online at knix.com or knix.ca, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can chat with our support team, give us a call or send us a DM or a comment through our social channels. Send us a note, we’ll try our best to make you smile today. Stay safe, stay inside, we’ve got this. Love, Team Knix. 📲 https://knix.com/pages/contact

A post shared by Knix (@knixwear) on

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

“400,000 masks and gloves as well as 1000 litres of hand sanitizer. Every week we ship to roughly 75 hospitals, long term care facilities, homeless shelters and other community organizations. For 90% of the places we ship to, we are the only PPE they have received. When we took on this initiative, I didn’t foresee us becoming the critical source for so many organizations, it’s been an honour to help and we are so grateful for your support” @joannaknix on the Knix campaign to get PPE to frontline workers, which has reached almost $500,000 in donations. We knew our Knix community was incredible, but we’re continuously blown away by all of the love and support you have to give. When the world seems to be in a dark place, it’s beautiful to see people coming together to make it much, much brighter. Visit our stories and swipe up to read more on our blog, The Lift! #knix

A post shared by Knix (@knixwear) on

“We’re finding that typically at the start of the week, we’re already at 95-100% capacity for the appointments,” she says. Since determining the right fit is so important with products such as bras and swimwear, the Virtual Fittings program helps customers feel more comfortable buying these products online.

“We’re removing some of the traditional friction points that are associated with buying something online,” Griffiths says. Given the popularity of the Virtual Fittings sessions, she says Knix plans to continue offering the program permanently.

Another adjustment that Knix made in response to the pandemic was to switch its annual warehouse sale, held in April, from an in-person to an online event. The expanded North America-wide reach of the online format translated into a significantly higher volume of sales. In fact, merchandise sold so quickly that what was a three-day event last year only lasted four hours this year.

“We sold more in the first 10 minutes of this virtual sale than we did over the full three days last year,” says Griffiths. “We had a really overwhelming response.”

PHOTO: KNIX
PHOTO: KNIX

At the peak, more than 35,000 customers were shopping on the site at the same time during the sale, which offered discounts averaging between 40%-60% off the regular price.

“For me, it was a very eye-opening experience,” Griffiths says, adding that the virtual warehouse sale will likely become an annual event for Knix. “It really shines a light on the power of e-commerce.”

Knix sales overall have been trending higher during this pandemic. April marked the strongest month in the company’s history in terms of sales, Griffiths says, as demand for loungewear, sports bras and comfortable intimates has been on the rise with customers spending more time at home. Even in March, loungewear sales jumped by 360% over the previous month, according to Knix.

“We’re really fortunate to be in a category that people are still interested in buying,” Griffiths says. “If you look at the broader consumer trends of what it means to be working from home, they want to be comfortable.”

Griffiths also attributes some of Knix’s recent success to its efforts to support healthcare workers during the pandemic. Specifically, the company launched a fundraising campaign in March to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to Canadian hospitals. She says that initiative has strongly resonated with Canadians, given the significant challenges associated with PPE throughout this pandemic.

“We’re doing a lot to give back and support the community,” Griffiths says, “so that’s one factor that I think that is pertinent to the success we’re seeing.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From Retail Insider

Canadian Consumers Willing to Switch Grocery Stores while Seeking Bargains: Study [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that a new survey offers a rigorous look into the preferences and behaviours shaping the future of grocery shopping in Canada.

Canadian Retail Sales Dip: Year-End Drop in Discretionary Spending [J.C. Williams Group Analysis]

2023 Canadian retail sales ended in a lacklustre way, with controlled consumer spending amid a tumultuous year.

Landlord QuadReal Launches Pickleball Courts in Commercial Properties to Create Consumer Experience [Interview/Photos]

The initiative helps revitalize and re-imagine spaces using sustainable development practices, while incorporating the latest technology to enhance the visitor experience, blending physical and digital elements.

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.

What to Expect for the Canadian Retail and Hospitality Sectors in 2024 [Video Interview]

Michael Kehoe provides an expansive overview of what's expected for Canada's retail industry in 2024, and how the commercial real estate industry is becoming more dynamic than ever.

Anatomy of a Leader: David Lui, CEO of Kit and Ace and Co-Founder of Unity Brands

Lui has an extensive background in retail with over 30 years of experience and is known for his award-winning brand transformations, e-commerce and digital knowledge along with his passion for scaling businesses.

Robotic Retail Gaining Traction in Canada, But Some Consumers are Being Left Behind [Op-Ed]

Automated retailers without in-store staff are opening across Canada, such as Aisle 24, RC Coffee and PizzaForno -- but consumers without smart phones, credit cards, or with vision issues may not be able to access these retailers says a researcher.

Oakridge Park Announces 1st Luxury Retailers, Attracting Top Brands to Vancouver [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the latest Oakridge Park announcement, highlighting the addition of luxury and upper contemporary brands to Vancouver's retail landscape and how it will impact downtown.

Interview on What it Takes: Lee Valley Tools Named Top Retailer in Ontario for Customer Service

The company's COO Jason Tasse discusses the retailer's secret sauce for having an engaged workforce, while also discussing plans to expand with more stores and retail concepts.

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

RECENT articles

Canadian Consumers Willing to Switch Grocery Stores while Seeking Bargains: Study [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that a new survey offers a rigorous look into the preferences and behaviours shaping the future of grocery shopping in Canada.

Canadian Retail Sales Dip: Year-End Drop in Discretionary Spending [J.C. Williams Group Analysis]

2023 Canadian retail sales ended in a lacklustre way, with controlled consumer spending amid a tumultuous year.

Landlord QuadReal Launches Pickleball Courts in Commercial Properties to Create Consumer Experience [Interview/Photos]

The initiative helps revitalize and re-imagine spaces using sustainable development practices, while incorporating the latest technology to enhance the visitor experience, blending physical and digital elements.

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.

What to Expect for the Canadian Retail and Hospitality Sectors in 2024 [Video Interview]

Michael Kehoe provides an expansive overview of what's expected for Canada's retail industry in 2024, and how the commercial real estate industry is becoming more dynamic than ever.

Anatomy of a Leader: David Lui, CEO of Kit and Ace and Co-Founder of Unity Brands

Lui has an extensive background in retail with over 30 years of experience and is known for his award-winning brand transformations, e-commerce and digital knowledge along with his passion for scaling businesses.

Robotic Retail Gaining Traction in Canada, But Some Consumers are Being Left Behind [Op-Ed]

Automated retailers without in-store staff are opening across Canada, such as Aisle 24, RC Coffee and PizzaForno -- but consumers without smart phones, credit cards, or with vision issues may not be able to access these retailers says a researcher.

Oakridge Park Announces 1st Luxury Retailers, Attracting Top Brands to Vancouver [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the latest Oakridge Park announcement, highlighting the addition of luxury and upper contemporary brands to Vancouver's retail landscape and how it will impact downtown.

Interview on What it Takes: Lee Valley Tools Named Top Retailer in Ontario for Customer Service

The company's COO Jason Tasse discusses the retailer's secret sauce for having an engaged workforce, while also discussing plans to expand with more stores and retail concepts.