Pomelo is solving a problem that’s plaguing online shopping
The collapse of fast fashion chain Forever 21, which filed for bankruptcy in the US this September, shook up the retail industry worldwide. Stores have realized that today’s shoppers are of a different breed. Digitally savvy, highly discerning, and socially conscious, the same consumers who led to Forever 21’s demise have fuelled the growth of a new class of fashion retailers.
JD.com-backed Pomelo is part of this new wave. Its CEO, David Jou – a member of the growing Lazada mafia – set up the omnichannel fashion startup in 2013, two years after co-founding Lazada’s Thailand business. The premise was to build a direct-to-consumer brand inspired by shops like Everlane, Bonobos, Warby Parker and Birchbox in the US, all of which had built up cult followings via online channels.
Counting Southeast Asia and Hong Kong as key markets, the Thailand-based firm’s online and offline strategy is unlike fast fashion counterparts such as Spanish fashion retailer Zara, Swedish clothing chain H&M, and Japan’s Uniqlo, which have brick-and-mortar storefronts as their primary customer touchpoints.
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