Kim Kardashian opening first Skims store in Los Angeles

By Kim Bhasin | Bloomberg

Kim Kardashian’s underwear label Skims plans to open its first permanent stores next year as it plots retail expansion in the US and abroad.

Skims is set to debut its first flagship store in Los Angeles in the first half of 2024, followed by a second opening in New York. The 5,000-square-foot shop will be in West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard near streetwear stores such as Supreme and Kith.

“Kim and I can envision a future where years from today there’s a Skims store anywhere in the world you’d find an Apple store or a Nike store,” said Jens Grede, co-founder and chief executive officer of Skims. “It marks the second chapter.”

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Skims began as a direct-to-consumer business in 2019, but it since has dabbled in physical retail through relationships with department stores such as Nordstrom Inc. and Saks Fifth Avenue. In recent months, Skims has opened temporary pop-ups in locations like London’s Selfridges department store and Rockefeller Center in New York.

Executives are looking to open at least four stores next year and speed up expansion once those are in place. They’re considering placing shops in domestic markets that attract regional tourism, including Dallas, Atlanta and Miami.

The company is weighing international flagships as well, after tests in cities like Paris and Hong Kong. On its online shop, 20% of Skims customers are from abroad.

“Our strategy going forward is to open important stores in the world’s most important cities,” Grede said.

Swimwear to underwear

Skims expects to achieve net sales of about $750 million in 2023, up from nearly $500 million last year. So far this year, the business has been trending at 75% year-over-year growth, according to Grede.

Product expansion has boosted that growth, as Skims branched out from its original selection of shapewear bodysuits into categories like pajamas and swimwear. Underwear now accounts for a sizable chunk of its business, and it’s now planning to launch a men’s line in October.

Skims was most recently valued at $3.2 billion in a 2022 financing round, with total funding now at nearly $400 million. Investors include hedge fund Lone Pine Capital and venture firms Thrive Capital and Imaginary Ventures. Grede declined to say if Skims is seeking additional capital at this time.

Kardashian and Grede are interested in one day taking Skims public, but the CEO said there are no short- or medium-term plans for an initial public offering. The company hired a chief financial officer last year.

“Skims deserves to be a public company — when the time is right,” Grede said.