Chicago will never be the same! The first Threadless retail store opened in Chicago. Very rarely do you see a apparel or t-shirt company go in the direction from online to brick-and-mortar store but hey its Threadless. Usually an online t-shirt company may just try to get their shirts featured in offline stores but apparently, Threadless has turned down some big-box retailers for two respectable reasons. One, as we all know the Threadless product line is always changing and most retailers aren’t prepared to deal with a frequent inventory change. And second, Threadless wants to make sure that they can stay true to the artists and community by continuing to recognize the stories behind each design such as how they were created, scored and selected.
The Threadless retail shop is more than just a t-shirt store like Crazy Shirt or some t-shirt shop on the Boardwalk. Threadless will be focusing on a connection with the community with design classes (See our post on Threadless Classes), hosting art galleries and other fun live events. Stores will also release 8-9 new and reprinted t-shirt designs each week (Mondays)! This idea would make most retailers cringe!
It is difficult for Threadless to carry every design (over 1,000 printed since Threadless started in 2000) in the store so they decided to just carry 20 designs that are predominantly new designs (past 2 weeks) and a few exclusives. Each design that is for sale gets its own LCD with pictures, comments and other information. So this means that EACH WEEK there will be different designs for sale in the store getting people to come back regularly. This is revolutionary in the apparel world. Most retailers maybe change their product line once a SEASON! (4 times a year!) and Threadless will be doing it EVERY WEEK! What makes it even more fun is that the designs will be in the store on the Friday before the Monday web release.
Threadless has plans on opening up stores in other cities especially unique communities such as San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Boulder, Columbus, Boston, Minneapolis, or Savannah.
At the new Threadless store in Chicago there will be the shopping downstairs and and a mezzanine that overlooks the first floor that will have a gallery and portable desks. This is where Threadless can feature art and have various events. It is also where the Digital Bootcamp classes will be where people can learn or improve their design and photography skills. Check out the upstairs of Threadless Chicago below.
To reduce waste, Threadless will give you reusable/recyclable bags for free when you make a purchase. If you bring it back next time you shop you get $1 off each t-shirt you buy. Check it out below.
Other cool plans for the Threadless store in Chicago includes giant killer window paintings that are mashups of ALL the winning designs EACH week. Talk about creating buzz around Chicago to get people to come check out the always changing windows. Here is some of his progress:
Read more on Threadless about the the first Threadless retail store. AND, if you are in Chicago, don’t miss the Threadless Grand Opening Party at the Metro on Friday September 14th. There will be a free all-ages show followed by a 18 and over after party with a bunch of bands. Also, you can check out more pictures of the Chicago Threadless store on Flickr.
Visit Threadless for More Info and cool pictures!