Nordstrom finally shuttered Trunk Club in May 2022, but its demise was years in the making. Here’s a quick look at Trunk Club’s rise and fall as well as a number of great alternative personal styling and home try-on services for clothing.
Trunk Club: A Timeline
Trunk Club was founded in in 2009 by Bonobos co-founder Brian Spaly. The company was a pioneer in personalized styling services and pre-dated its primary competitor Stitch Fix, which was founded in 2011 (and was originally called Rack Habit).
In July 2014, Nordstrom announced it would acquire Trunk Club for $350 million. At the time, Nordstrom Direct President Erik Nordstrom said, “This acquisition is reflective of how we want to move quickly to evolve with customers by finding more ways to deliver a great shopping experience.
Two years later, in October 2016, Nordstrom wrote down the value of their Trunk Club acquisition from $350 million to $150 million. Trunk Club Founder Brian Spaly left the company weeks after the write down.
Nordstrom announced a number of operating changes in the fall of 2016, including that Trunk Club would start charging a $25 home try-on fee to all trunks (the equivalent of Stitch Fix’s “fixes”), whereas they had been free before that.
In March 2020, Nordstrom announced it would close all of Trunk Club’s showrooms and cease operating the personal styling service as an independent business. (I had a chance to go behind the scenes at Trunk Club’s Washington, DC showroom in 2015.)
In 2021, Trunk Club discontinued its affiliate program and, in 2022, Trunk Club halted its referral program.
On May 24, 2022, Nordstrom announced it would shut down Trunk Club and would concentrate its focus on its own personal styling services.
Alternatives to Trunk Club
Here are several alternatives to Trunk Club now that it has closed:
- Wantable is my favorite alternative to Trunk Club for personal styling services. Get a $25 coupon off your first styling box from Wantable.
- Stitch Fix offers a wide range of stylish clothing brands for women and men including a number of house brands. See my review of Stitch Fix and get a $25 discount off your first Fix.
- Amazon Try Before You Buy is a surprisingly awesome way to try clothing at home. Pick up to 6 items from Amazon’s extensive selection of clothing from brands like Levi’s, New Balance, Allen Edmonds and adidas. Try the clothes for 7 days and return what you don’t want.
- Nordstrom’s Personal Styling Services: While the Seattle-based retailer shut down Trunk Club, Nordstrom offers a variety of personal styling services that can help men and women curate outfits. Meet with a personal stylist online or in person at a store.
For even more stores like Trunk Club, see my guide to alternatives to Stitch Fix.
About JakeJake is an expert on men’s style and fashion based in Washington, DC. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs and innovative clothing and lifestyle brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. He has published hundreds of articles on style and apparel, and regularly interviews small business CEOs and startup founders about industry trends. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine.
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