Bare Necessities is an American underwear, swimwear, and loungewear online retailer which was established in 1998 in Avenel, New Jersey.
The company claims to be the second largest online retailer in the industry next to Victoria’s Secret with over $66 million in revenues.
Bare Necessities was founded in Avenel, New Jersey in 1998 by two Carnegie-Mellon graduates, Noah Wrubel and Bill Richardson. Wrubel’s family already operated several lingerie stores of the same name since 1965 throughout New Jersey. However, the new company was not created to serve as an online outlet for the family stores. In its early inception, the goal was to sell one garment per hour. Orders were filled by beeper notification which later proved to be inefficient.
By 2001, there was an increase in shoppers by 35% with an average ticket of about $100. During this time, the company retained customers through several online marketing techniques include search engine ads, banners, and in-house emailing lists. In 2003, the company reported $7 million in revenue. In 2004, the company appointed David Wauters as their marketing director.
By 2006, the retailer set out to compete with Victoria’s Secret with the help from Frog Design, A product design and branding firm best known for working with Apple. Their efforts paid off with reported revenue of $24 million and a three-year growth of 252%.
In 2008, Bare Necessities branched out into the direct mail business by launching its first print catalog. In 2010, the company set out to curb the plus size market. They did this by hiring Jay Dunn to be their Chief Marketing Officer who previously worked for Lane Bryant as well as hire former Victoria’s Secret director Jessica Jackson as their e-commerce Vice President.
By 2013, the company has at least 4,000 orders per day. The company operates out of a 100,000 square-foot building and employs 44 people.
The online retailer carries an array of brands such as Bali, Wacoal, SPANX, Calvin Klein, Hanky Panky, Chantelle, Freya, Panache, Hanro, La Perla, Le Mystere, Ugg Australia, Wolford, Hugo Boss, Armani, and Polo Ralph Lauren. The company also carries over 200 bra size ranging from 30 to 56 inch bands and from an AA cup to N Cup. Bare Necessities ships only to the United States and it territories: Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Unlike most of the online retailers in the late 1990s, Bare Necessities always used models, instead of mannequins. Over the years, the site has gained notoriety due to the models they use. Many of Bare Necessities’ catalog models have become popular from the site. Many models have parlayed their e-commerce success by landing gigs with Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret. These models include: