Buy More Save More At Mack Wheldon
Ask an CEO to tell you what’s the hottest area in startups these days, and you wouldn’t be surprised to hear answers like: mobile apps, social media, or crowdfunding. Founder and CEO Brian Berger might give you an answer that wouldn’t cross most minds–men’s underwear. OK, he’s probably more grown up than me, and he would answer more along the lines of men’s undergarments or men’s daily wear.
In all seriousness, Berger’s startup is Mack Weldon, on online shopping destination determined to outfit guys with better underthings while providing a more satisfying customer experience. With their buy more save more philosophy, the site sells thoughtfully-designed underwear (boxer briefs or trunks), undershirts and T-shirts (both available in classic or V-neck style).
In The Top Drawer
Before launching Mack Weldon, Berger was a Vice President of Strategy & Development at Comcast. A graduate of Columbia Business School, he also worked as a VP of Network Revenue Management and Director of Online Media Strategy at WebMD. What do these positions have in common with elastic waist bands and cotton blends? Probably nothing. Like a lot of us gents, he was unsatisfied with the market offerings and the department store experience and saw room for innovation.
To help him, Berger brought in Michael Isaacman as Head of Product and Merchandising. Isaacman previously worked in the apparel industry as an executive at Shawn Carter Enterprises, trafficking in brands like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Rocawear.
Under The Wrapping
The team put in over 10,000 hours of homework to source materials, design the clothes, and partner with the 20th century undergarment and sleepwear company, Mack Weldon. They flipped the company slightly to embrace technological advances in everything from design, to marketing, to distribution, and the online platform.
The cost of products run slightly above average, but not crazily so when you factor in engineering and convenience. Underwear features soft waistbands, cooling mesh panels, and legging designed to stay put. No riding high? That alone would be a priceless feature. Shirts boast rotated seams to prevent underarm friction, cleaner fit and neck design, and run long in length so shirts keep tucked in when you want them to. The last touch might not sound revolutionary, but untucked undershirts are a maddening problem that have been incredibly overlooked.
The Mack Weldon site asks, “what percentage of your underwear and socks have holes? How many of your undershirts have yellow rings under the arms and stretched out necks?” OK, moving right along. The point is the company understands how much dudes hate shopping, and it offers an auto-replenishment service that means no repeat trips to the store or refitting, and potentially maintaining a wardrobe with a semblance of fabric integrity. They also offer discounts for ordering in bulk, guys.
I for one am grateful one company is thinking about something other than providing adequate social media coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games. (If I’d heard about Mack Weldon sooner, I might be watching the competition on my couch in considerably greater comfort.) Menswear not your thing? Consider that the startup uses Kiva Robots to locate goods in their warehouse and help expedite shipping. And you can watch them here!