By Bob Johns
September 2013 Integrated Solutions For Retailers
The online fashion retailer leveraged a new shipping solution to better serve the customer and increase fulfillment efficiencies.
RibbedTee founder Mike Schwarz knows that fulfillment is the key to operating a successful retail operation, especially one that operates exclusively online. The company handles all of its fulfillment in-house in order to achieve the customer service levels Schwarz wants, but this presents challenges of scale and expertise.
Schwarz’s background is not in fashion; it is in technology. He worked as a VP of Product for NetZero’s parent company up until 2007, when he was laid off. “I was the guy who says, ‘This is how I believe it should work, these are how the features should be, this is how the user interaction should be,’ and then I worked with the development team to actually bring these technical products to market,” Schwarz says. The idea for RibbedTee came to him not long after being laid off, when he was watching Big Idea With Donny Deutsch, a show that highlighted entrepreneurs who have achieved the American Dream. “It was one of these shows that was the catalyst for me wanting to start RibbedTee. In the show, Donny said two things that resonated with me, ‘find a need and fill a need, and the worst that can happen is nothing,’” says Schwarz. “For years I had been looking everywhere for a certain kind of undershirt, but nothing came close to what I was looking for.” Schwarz wanted a shirt that fit like a ribbed tanktop — form fitting and stretchable — and did not bunch at the waist, but there was nothing on the market.