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Louis buyer Debi Greenberg has given a lot of thought to adding e-commerce to her business. Which is why she won't do it. Greenberg took to the store's blog to explain:
I don't sell the things you find at Louis online so [people] can walk into my store and keep their senses connected with the world around them and continue to appreciate all of the things they could never experience with the click of a mouse.
For Greenberg, it's all about the experience: smelling wool, touching fabric, and trying on the clothing to gauge the right size and fit—things that could never happen through a computer screen (at least not yet.) She draws a parallel between shopping and travel, stressing the importance of engaging the five senses and the importance of discovery in both experiences.
Ultimately, she acknowledges that staying out of the digital realm does affect her business, but it's a risk she's willing to take:
I'm not interested in sacrificing everything Louis is to make a fast dollar on the internet. I am, however, interested in maintaining our integrity and sustaining our longevity, and holding fast to the long term effects of my actions.So what does staying offline mean for Louis customers? According to Greenberg, it means early access to one-of-a-kind pieces from new, young designers that aren't even on Vogue's radar yet. It also means Louis gets to avoid the pitfalls of buying for a bigger audience, like purchasing mass-produced fashion in bulk. And as anyone who's been to Louis over the past four generations knows, that's not the store's style.
So what do you think? When you're shopping online, do you miss being able to touch and try on beautiful clothing, or have your learned to determine those things through the screen?—Renata Certo-Ware
· It's All About Discovery (Not E-Commerce) [Louis Boston]
· All Louis coverage [Racked Boston]