He says he doesn’t think about his competitors. “We worry about what we’re doing,” he explained. “I don’t even know what our competitors do.” He says he’s learned that customers want “basics with a twist” and that “if it’s too serious, it doesn’t sell. Our product has a lot of novelty in it.”
So if it wasn’t Tory, what did inspire the idea for C. Wonder? “The idea came when I was in a big box retailer and I was thinking about how good their food was and everything else, but there wasn’t a lot of high quality merchandise for that aspirational customer. You walk into a Costco and you get the great food and everything and I thought if [the customer] walked into a Costco and saw this fabulous merchandise in the middle of it, they’d go crazy. So that started the concept.”
Some things they do differently aside from having awesome dressing rooms include giving away a free pair of earrings when you return something. “If you return something in a store, why should you be given trouble? That’s why we said, ‘let’s just give a pair of earrings away to shock the customer.’” Burch also spoke enthusiastically about new technologies he’d heard about and wanted to use in the store.
He plans to open around 11 more locations this year (the 20-50 he reported when we last spoke was a little ambitious, it seems), including one in the Time Warner Center this fall, which he says will be “totally different” from the Spring Street store. For example, he says it will have new room concepts like a “disco mod room.”
He doesn’t seem like someone with a lot of limits or constraints when it comes to his businesses, of which he has several–both established and in the works. He has a short attention span and a lot of ideas. “Maybe in five years I may put a store under the water,” he said without any detectable sarcasm.
It may be a little longer than five years, but if it seems like something people will want, he will probably do it.