Revolutionizing the buying process
With the Bluer Kickstarter funded, Shafer said the next challenge is to entice customers to buy jeans from an Internet company, knowing full well that fit is an intimate and personal component of the shopping experience. However, he explained, that’s a challenge the company welcomes.
“As a jean manufacturer/retailer, we know that a lot of people really do not like going into stores and trying on jeans; they loathe it,” he said. “Of course there are people who love it, but for most people it’s a challenging experience: finding a parking space, finding the right store, finding the right fit, being in the changing room. Personally, I lose my keys, I lose my wallet and by the time I’m done I’m sweating.”
Shafer said Bluer customers will be able to select up to three pairs of jeans to try on at home at their leisure, only paying for what they keep and without having to pay for shipping.
Bluer’s innovative home try-on concept isn’t the only thing making the Ridgefield-based company stand out. For every jeans purchase, the company will buy back a used pair for $5, sanitize them and deliver them to someone in need.
Priced to thrive
Bluer jeans will start at a retail price of $95. That price point, noted Shafer, is roughly half of what comparable products are sold for through the traditional wholesale/retail model. Often, he said, those products are made overseas. Conversely, Bluer jeans will be designed and manufactured in the United States.
Shafer said he plans to hire students from Clark College and Washington State University Vancouver to help grow the brand from its customer service department. Additionally, he said an eventual expansion of the company’s Ridgefield facility (also used by Agave Denim) is possible.
“Assuming that we get our fits and finishes right and we don’t disappoint our customer, Bluer can be a very big company, very fast,” Shafer said. “If that’s the case there is a lot of vacant land around here and we would love to expand.”