By Jacqueline Corba
What began as a lingerie brand 40 years ago has become an innovator in online retail.
Women's fashion company Natori recently reported sales through social media rose 76 percent over six months thanks to Albert, an A.I. platform that builds marketing campaigns for the web.
But that's not the only source of growth.
As e-commerce competition for women's fashion grows more intense, Natori is expanding its partnership with Amazon to reach customers on a more global, interconnected scale. Ken Natori, the company's CEO, said he visited Amazon headquarters last week to discuss the plans.
The company first joined forces with Amazon eight years ago to distribute lingerie, sleepwear, and underwear. Natori said its early partnership helped his company stay ahead of competitors.
"We're really trying to create a balance between our traditional wholesale business and looking at some of these new ways of interacting with customers that really are big drivers in growth right now," he said.
The privately-held company earned $200 million in revenue last year, but the CEO isn't complacent. Natori, whose mother Josie founded the company, knows the operation's flexibility is essential to its success.
"The way consumers buy and interact with product and brands has just changed tremendously," said Natori. "We've tried to be as nimble as possible."
Also, cautious. Natori said the company has other partners, and he doesn't want them to feel neglected in favor of Amazon.
"We can't go full speed with them without the threat of jeopardizing our other businesses," he said.
For more on this story, click here.