07 Jun Good360 Partners with Torrid to Help Women & Change Lives
When Torrid opened its first store in 2001, the fashion retailer of plus-sized women’s apparel was a revelation and a godsend for many young shoppers who simply couldn’t find, stylish, well-fitting clothes anywhere else. “I remember combing through all the racks of clothing with such amazement and happiness,” one fan recalled in a Racked article. “I couldn’t believe a whole store had clothes I could try and buy in the mall.” Torrid’s inclusive, unapologetic approach has attracted millions of loyal customers and propelled the brand’s growth from that first store in Brea, California to 564 locations across the U.S. and Canada today. The retailer’s brand promise to “Help Women, Change Lives” is demonstrated every day in the way they help customers look good and feel good as well as help women-in-need through the efforts of the Torrid Foundation.
That commitment to empower women of all shapes and sizes led the company to seek out a partnership with Good360 to launch on one of our most ambitious projects in recent memory. Armed with a generous apparel donation that they wanted to move quickly, Torrid reached out to us to come up with a fast solution, knowing we had the infrastructure in place to distribute a large donation of product to a ready network of vetted nonprofit organizations. The initiative fell under our Retail Donation Partnership Program, in which qualified nonprofits can pick up product directly from local store locations. There were several logistical challenges that needed to be surmounted to make this particular project a success, including:
Large, distributed inventory: Torrid needed a way to efficiently distribute apparel that was located in more than 100 stores throughout the country that would be participating in the donation program. The retailer was not in a position to coordinate the aggregation and/or distribution of this large-scale donation, so Good360’s store pick-up program the solution for the stores and provided a great opportunity for local nonprofits.
Limited communication: We needed to contact each store location about what items were available and when a nonprofit could come pick up their items. Working closely with Torrid’s store operations team allowed us to efficiently and effectively get the right information into the field.
Short time frame: A retail distribution partnership program of this scale would ideally happen over several months, but Torrid asked us to move the inventory within a few weeks.
Compliance assurance: It was crucially important for both Torrid and Good360 to protect brand integrity for the company especially because of the large volume of apparel going out to an equally large base of nonprofit organizations.
The creative solution to this challenge centered on an innovative, automated email system that our IT team quickly developed to reach out to hundreds of nonprofits at the same time and match them up with the corresponding Torrid store in their area. It also allowed us to make arrangements for pickup times and logistics once the matches were made without the need to trade a lot of telephone or email messages back and forth. As a result, an initiative that might have taken several months under normal circumstances was accomplished in a matter of weeks. This meant communities of women around the country could enjoy their clothing sooner, and Torrid stores were cleared of the donated inventory to make way for seasonal arrivals. “Our whole goal is helping women and changing lives,” said Elizabeth Haynes, Vice President of Store Operations and Customer Service at Torrid. “That’s what we’re all about. This donation completely aligned with that mission. It really made our associates feel good to help out plus-sized women with these needed donations.” With the technological solution in place, the matches and product handoffs occurred without any major hitches.
“We needed an organization that could react very quickly,” said Jillian Smith, Store Operations Coordinator at Torrid. “Good360 was able to step in and fill that role. There was great communication the whole time. If we have another instance where we would need to move inventory of this kind, Good360 would be the first group we would call because the process was so painless and worked so well.” Through the Torrid Foundation, the company followed up on this retail donation project with a cash grant of $10,000, further establishing what we expect to be a long-term partnership. Most important, this initiative allowed hundreds of women to obtain plus-size apparel that they might not have had access to.“The women we served got to pick three outfits per person, which will clothe them everyday and help them be job-ready,” said one non-profit volunteer. “I would like to thank Torrid and Good360 for seeing the need to provide plus-size women with new clothes. It’s a huge help.”