Nordstrom has invested in several digital-based startups, but it hasn’t acquired many to date. That could change soon.
The Seattle-based, high-end retailer has recently held acquisition talks with Trunk Club, an e-commerce company that offers a personal styling service for men, according to people familiar with the talks.
It’s not clear if the talks will result in an acquisition or a strategic investment. It is also possible that neither of those transactions will occur.
Trunk Club customers consult with a stylist and then receive a mailing that contains an array of clothing options, such as jeans, shoes and blazers. Customers keep and pay for the items they want and mail the rest back for free. The deal could make sense for Nordstrom as a digital extension of its existing in-store styling service. Like Nordstrom, Trunk Club sells items from a variety of different clothing and accessory brands.
Nordstrom spokesman Dan Evans and Trunk Club CEO Brian Spaly declined to comment.
Spaly did say, however, that Trunk Club “has been actively fundraising for the past three months” and talking to a variety of companies during that time.
Through its Series A round, Trunk Club raised $12 million from U.S. Venture Partners, Greycroft Partners, Apex Venture Partners and Anthos Capital. Spaly said the company raised an unannounced Series B round last summer from existing investors. He declined to reveal the amount of that investment.
Before Trunk Club, Spaly was a founder of Bonobos, a men’s apparel company that recently landed a new investment round of $55 million and counts Nordstrom as an investor.
In addition to Bonobos, Nordstrom has invested in gift-giving service Wantful, which has since shut down, and acquired flash sale site HauteLook. Nordstrom is also a limited partner in the e-commerce focused venture fund Forerunner Ventures.