Stores

The growth spurt at baby-care startup Lalo

It recently stepped into a new flagship and plans to expand its product offering.
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Lalo

· 3 min read

Lalo’s growing up—with a new flagship in New York City.

The baby-care startup, co-founded in 2019, recently opened its new (and only) store, marking Lalo’s return to IRL retail.

  • It shut down its previous showroom in 2020.

As a DTC brand to start, the move didn’t hurt Lalo’s biz throughout the pandemic. Parents stuck at home scrambled to make the most of their space for themselves—and their little ones. That proved to be a boon for Lalo, and 2021 was even stronger: The company said it surpassed its 2020 revenue by mid-June and landed a $5.6 million seed round in July.

  • By Q3, sales were up 70% from the previous quarter, CEO and cofounder Greg Davidson told Retail Brew. (He declined to share specific figures.)

As successful as online has been for Lalo, there are components to an IRL space that e-comm can’t replicate, explained fellow cofounder Michael Wieder, who is also president and CMO.

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Lucky for Lalo, it was able to use lessons from its prior space to help develop its new flagship.

“When we had the showroom in the early days, it was an amazing proof of concept for us—what being really close to the customer can do, the feedback we can get, and ultimately, the environment we’ve been able to provide,” Davidson explained.

For example, a mainstay at Lalo’s first showroom were in-person appointments, which let customers chat about child-care needs and learn more about the startup’s products. Davidson said 50% of those who booked a session ended up purchasing something, so it’s no surprise that Lalo brought that experience back to its New York location.

  • Pandemic in mind, Lalo’s flagship requires proof of vaccination, masks (for anyone over age 2), and contact tracing.

A whole new world: Education plays a big role in the store, but so does fun. The flagship has a play area where kids can toy around while parents shop. There’s also a nursing nook, which is available to anyone, not just Lalo customers, plus classes throughout the day for both parents and kids.

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“Our flagship has allowed us and our staff to walk people through the store and have real conversations with people because we merchandised it in a way where it feels more like a home,” Davidson said.

That welcoming environment is key to building relationships. Lalo knows that not everyone who walks into the store will purchase something—many shoppers come when they’re expecting—but the startup wanted to build an experience that’s top of mind when they’re ready to buy.

  • Lalo’s flagship even includes a space where parents-to-be can create a baby registry and figure out all the products they’ll need once their baby comes.

“We wanted to create as many touch points to be in our customers’ lives,” Wieder explained. “We wanted to support that consumer journey too, where they’re not ready to swipe their credit card.”

Looking ahead…NYC will serve as a test for Lalo, which hopes to open new stores in different markets. The startup also wants to grow its product offering this year—to grow with its already existing customers—though Lalo didn’t say what exactly is in the pipeline.

“We’re focused, and making sure, we’re there for as many exciting milestones with family. So everything from birth and beyond and trying to stay with them in those early years with their family,” Wieder said. “We think there’s an incredible opportunity for our brand to just celebrate with our customers. The more products we have to do that, the better.”

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