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This bra company is looking to sell comfort over sex appeal

Heidi Zak, the founder of ThirdLove, a direct-to-consumer online bra seller, thinks there’s a lot of progress to be made in the lingerie industry.

“I had this idea after I shopped in a Victoria Secret store,why isn’t there something better?” Zak tells Yahoo Finance’s Jeanie Ahn, “unless you have a very experienced bra fitter, a lot of times you get put into a size that is just stocked and inventory.”

Determined to find an answer to her frustration and her correct bra size for that matter, she co-founded ThirdLove with her husband, David Spector. The startup uses technology and data to find the right bra size for customers. Since its launch in 2013, it has raised $68.6 million in funding, with a large focus placed on being inclusive to all women.

“If you want to feel sexy in your bra you should, but that’s not what we’re selling,” Zak told Yahoo Finance. “We’re selling the idea of feeling comfortable and confident.”

Third Love initially used a smartphone camera to size and suggest products, but now it uses the fit finder quiz to find customer’s fit “in just 60 seconds.” Based on their own research from the fit finder quiz, Zak says 70% of women are actually wearing the wrong bra size.

“Find your bra size without having to talk to another human, without needing to go to the store, none of that,” Zak tells Yahoo Finance’s Jeanie Ahn. “You can just do it on your phone or on your iPad from the comfort of your home.”

Heidi Zak, founder of ThirdLove, a direct-to-consumer bra startup debuts new size offerings. Courtesy: ThirdLove
Heidi Zak, founder of ThirdLove, a direct-to-consumer bra startup debuts new size offerings. Courtesy: ThirdLove

‘Plenty of room for multiple players to win’

In February 2019, after seeing a need for more sizes, ThirdLove nearly doubled its size offerings. It now offers 78 bra sizes in total ranging from 30 inches to 48 inches and cups going from AA to I. Prior to the launch of the new size offerings, there were nearly 1.3 million women on the waitlist for the new size offerings.

In comparison, its main competitor, Victoria’s Secret, offers sizes ranging from 30AAA to 40DDD. And Aerie, American Eagle’s lingerie lifestyle brand, sells sizes ranging from 30A to 40DD.

Zak doesn’t see these other retailers as a major threat, telling Yahoo Finance there is “plenty of room for multiple players to win.”

The price tag of Thirdlove bras, however, may be a hurdle for women to get over: styles range from $68 to $76. That’s about triple the price point of Target’s new line of bras and underwear, all of which cost $22 and under.

Zak is confident on her price point though saying, “If you buy a $68 bra and you wear it every day for 365 days, it’s cents, it’s pennies per wear.”

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