It’s 2017 and the whole world is addicted to the internet. Is there anything you can’t find or do online? As it turns out, yes. There’s at least one thing you can’t simply order from a website and have it show up at your front door. You cannot buy Lularoe online.
Lularoe is a fashion company that was founded in 2014 and has seen incredible growth in the last three years. There are over 35,000 contact employees, and individuals report earning tens of thousands a month.
Here’s the twist: you can’t buy Lularoe in stores either. It has totally rejected the two biggest traditional venues for retail and embraced a direct sales concept. The company hires people in the position of ‘Fashion Retailer,’ who host pop-ups where people come and buy the clothes. Essentially, they host clothes buying parties in your home and you invite people to come shop.
Let’s just put two things out there: shopping is hard and buying clothes off the internet is a toss up. I know the internet simplifies shopping, but it’s also hard to know how something will look on you from a photo. It’s rare to find models larger than a size four, and colors can be distorted online. Lularoe is designed to let customers try on and hold all their clothing before buying.
Becoming a Lularoe rep will set you back at first. You must buy at least $5,000 worth of clothing to start. You then have miscellaneous costs like hangers to display the clothes or promotional materials like business cards.
LulaRoe has started offering online pop-ups. A fashion retailer creates a private page on Facebook so you and your friends can shop together. These online parties start at a specific time, and the first person to comment “sold” on an item gets that item.
The fact that you can’t buy Lularoe online the way you can with a company like Nordstroms works to its advantage. It encourages the idea that the products are rare, which increases demand. It encourages people to become fashion retailers, which means that the company makes at least $5,000. These two things alone would disappear
These two things alone would disappear if you could buy Lularoe online, and they’ve been huge tenants of the companies success. Why fix what ain’t broke?
Lularoe offers sizes ranging from 0-22, which also broadens its appeal. (Most clothing lines don’t carry larger sizes.) Their prints are fun and eclectic. The company will buy back inventory from fashion retailers if you want to quit.
Not being able to buy Lularoe online might frustrate some people, but it hasn’t hurt the company at all. It’s pretty impressive that they’ve managed the incredible success that they have while essentially eschewing selling online. Their contractors are happy, their sales are high, and their product is in demand. Lularoe is a business that knows its business.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.