Former Quidsi execs take the slow-fashion approach to selling kids’ clothing online

June 15, 2015 04:51 PM

It isn’t that there aren’t plenty of retailers selling children’s clothing. But there isn’t any website that makes buying a boy’s T-shirt and shorts as easy as it is to buy formula or diapers online, says Galyn Bernard, co-founder of Primary Kids Inc., an online-only children’s clothing retailer that launched in March.

She should know. Bernard and her co-founder, Christina Carbonell, founded after working together at parent company Quidsi, which is now owned by Inc. The site aims to make buying children’s clothing simple: It eschews trends and instead focuses on selling basic pieces that make up children’s wardrobes.

“While we both shop at plenty of retailers, there wasn’t a single one that we could reliably go to get well-priced clothes that kids wear every day like a simple cardigan, a white T-shirt or khaki pants,” Bernard says. “That stuff can be hard to find because most other retailers are focused on trend-driven fashion. We’re not and that allows us to think differently than anyone else playing the game.”

By working directly with Indian manufacturers, Primary is cutting wholesalers out of the supply chain in an attempt to keep prices low; every item the retailer sells is $25 or less.

Sticking to basics also enables the retailer to keep its design costs low, Bernard says. “By focusing on evergreen styles, we don’t need to have a huge design team like retailers that introduce new styles every five weeks have. That’s a people cost that we don’t incur; we have one designer.”

The site aims to appeal to busy parents who don’t have time to spend hours browsing different sites or stores to figure out what their children are going to wear to camp or school, Carbonell says. Part of that is ensuring prompt delivery. Primary has a single fulfillment center in Connecticut but plans to open another one soon in Reno, Nev., to ensure that shoppers receive their purchases within three days.

By choosing to name their site Primary, the co-founders have big ambitions: To make the site the first place parents look to buy children’s clothes. Based on early results, they remain bullish on the space, though they declined to give sales numbers. “We want to be like Uber. When you need a taxi, you go to Uber. When you need kids’ clothes, you go to Primary,” Bernard says. “That’s what we hope we achieve.”




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