Today in retail: ChickAdvisor tool helps brands interact with customers, Indochino receives Mitsui investment

indochino

In the past few weeks, several Canadian retail startups have made announcements and launched new features. Here’s the latest on Canada’s movers and shakers.

ChickAdvisor launches Dispatch

Toronto-based ChickAdvisor, a product review community targeted to women, has launched a new plugin with the goal of helping brands reach their target customers.

The Dispatch plugin allows brands to use push notifications on desktop and offer real-time messaging to get in front of customers. As most modern web browsers enable push notifications in the same way as apps on phones, the hope is to replace traditional email campaigns that often get buried in inboxes.

“We wanted to help brands connect with consumers without being lost in their inbox. Most of us are subscribed to way too many newsletters, and as a result, email open-rates are dropping,” said Ali de Bold, co-founder of ChickAdvisor. “The last thing a consumer wants to read is a lengthy marketing email. We launched Dispatch so that brands could reach consumers directly, in fewer words and completely skip the inbox.”

The plugin allows brands to track the number of subscribers and unsubscribes, send messages to specific users or groups, and view the results of programs over-time.

“Canada’s top brands trust us to help launch new products and consumers discover these products through omnichannel (social, e-commerce, retail) marketing programs,” said Alex de Bold, co-founder of ChickAdvisor. “Part of that trust comes from evolving our platform to meet their needs. Dispatch helps brands engage consumers in a real-time economy and gives marketers access to two of the most powerful tools to engage consumers: Push notifications and chat.” ​ ​

Indochino announces strategic investment from Mitsui, new showroom locations

Vancouver-based Indochino has received a strategic investment from Mitsui, a Japan-based trading and investment enterprise.

The company wants to use the funding to accelerate its North American expansion plans and invest in its global operations and supply chain.

“I have admired Mitsui for many years and could not be more proud to welcome them as a shareholder and partner. Indochino has established a new way for men to experience well-fitting garments with ease and affordability,” said Drew Green, CEO of Indochino. “Our strong sales and earnings growth demonstrate that the Indochino brand resonates with consumers and has become a mainstream alternative to ready-to-wear clothing. Mitsui’s global footprint and its expertise scaling and operating international businesses will be invaluable as we prepare for the next phase of growth and scale as a global apparel brand.”

Mitsui joins suit manufacturer Dayang Group and media company Posmedia as shareholders.

The company also announced that it would open four new showrooms; one in North Carolina, and three in Texas.

“Indochino was borne out of the belief that custom clothing should be available to everyone. Each time we put down roots in a new city, there is an opportunity for millions of men to experience the shopping concept of the future,” said Drew Green, CEO of Indochino. “Charlotte, Houston, Austin and Dallas are already home to thousands of customers who shop with us online and are strong ambassadors of the Indochino brand. We look forward to bringing the in-person showroom experience to them and many thousands of new customers in these great cities.”