Back in 2012, when Everlane was just a year old, founder Michael Preysman made a grand pronouncement to the New York Times: “We are going to shut the company down before we go to physical retail.” Yet here we are, five years later, and the clothing brand is opening its first retail store at 28 Prince Street in New York’s Nolita neighborhood.

To be fair, Presyman wasn’t the only one who didn’t see the point of bricks and mortar. Retailers are shutting down stores en masse, as consumers have shown less appetite for shopping at malls in an era when they can buy everything they need from the comfort of their couch. This year alone, a record-breaking 6,700 stores are shuttering, which is more than even after the 2008 recession.

And yet, dozens of brands that were born on the internet have chosen to enter physical retail. Bonobos, Warby Parker, Birchbox, M.Gemi, Cuyana, Glossier, and Allbirds, among many others, now have hip stores that serve not just as places for people to buy product, but also as gathering spots for people who feel an affinity to the brands.

Today, Everlane joins them. Preysman explains that customers had been asking for a store so they could try on products to get a better sense of their size. This was also good for Everlane, since there has been a spike in returns, particularly as it has gone into categories like shoes where there is little wiggle room with sizing. He’d also noticed that customers wanted the instant gratification of being able to return a product in-store so they could pick up a new product and take it home immediately.

A Glass Act

From the start, Everlane’s…

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