Through strategic partnerships, we plan to keep expenses low by operating without apparel designers on staff, without direct relationships with manufacturers, and with minimal inventory in storage. We will focus a large part of our resources on marketing and obtaining logo licenses.
In exchange for long-term guaranteed shelf space in our stores, a strong presence on our website, and the ability to use the NBA logos we have licensed, we will work with apparel brands who are experts in designing and producing specific items to create basketball-inspired lines. For example, a company that specializes in men's leather dress shoes could collaborate with us to make a shoe with a form inspired by Air Jordans, or a company that specializes in button-downs could work with us to create shirts with team logos used as textile patterns. We will require that most of these collaborative products be exclusive to our store and website, but we will add to the value of our partnerships by including their labels along with the Rafter label on the clothing as well as linking to their websites from ours - encouraging our customers to explore the rest of what our partners have to offer. We will also flesh out our offerings by carefully curating existing items such as Spalding's basketball-textured briefcase.
Following the Bonobos store model for tailor-fit items, the stores will be a showcase and place to get measured, not to pick up directly. Purchased items will be tailored by our partners and shipped to the customers. This will eliminate our need for inventory space and tailoring space, or having tailors on staff. We believe the environment of our stores as well as the exclusivity and quality of our products will compensate for the instant gratification of walking out with purchased items (most stores require customers to come back several days later for tailored items regardless).