Simon and Leap aim to bring more DTC brands to malls


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Diving brief:

  • Leap, a company that helps DTC brands enter brick-and-mortar retail, partners with mall owner Simon Property Group to open stores for first digital brands at the company’s mall properties, according to a company press release.
  • To begin, the companies will open four stores in California and Florida, including a True Classic Tees store in Los Angeles’ Del Amo Fashion Center, and stores for ThirdLove, Sugarfina and Goodlife in Florida’s Town Center in Boca Raton.
  • Simon is an investor in Leap, which raised $50 million in January This year.

Overview of the dive:

Simon aims to bring more brands directly to consumers in its malls through a partnership with Leap, which helps find and operate physical stores for digital-focused businesses.

Simon’s Leasing Vice President Zachary Beloff said the mall owner wants to incubate brands through his work with Leap and also “help them grow into our portfolio where they can grow into the hundreds of millions of their target consumers each year”.

Leap, for his part, has focused on increasing his physical range. At the time of its fundraising in January, Leap said the funds would be used to accelerate the growth of its store network. In 2021, the company quadrupled its store base to 50.

Leap now works with over 60 brands and has opened nearly 100 stores for its customers, including Naadam, Frankies Bikinis, UpWest (a sister brand to Express), Mack Weldon and Something Navy, among others. The company operates locations in major cities including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C.

The partnership with Simon allows companies to “[pool] our competitive advantages and our data-driven approach to deploying the next generation of brands in major shopping centers across the country,” said Amish Tolia, co-founder and co-CEO of Leap, in a statement.

The two have common interests, and Leap also sees itself as a bit of a mall, according to co-founder and co-CEO Jared Golden.

“We also have a set of considerations as a platform provider, where we try to create efficiencies and value in our growth, which means developing door clusters and increasing our footprint density. beyond what a brand would be able to do internally, which creates great profitability over time,” Golden told Retail Dive in an interview earlier this year. “And then also where do we strategically place Brands and stores within a cluster: Is there synergy or overlap within target segments So almost like a department store or mall owner would do We can make marketing easier cross-promotional and even integrating each brand’s products into each other’s stores if they’re receptive to that and just adding value to the equation.


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