A revolution, a way of living, and a culture shift—the descriptions for Lorna Jane abound online. At its core, the brand is all about evolving a workout style into a shared mindset and a global movement that centers around the shopper. Credited with coining the term “activewear,” the founder of the self-named brand aims to empower women through active living and create further confidence relating to their health and wellbeing. As a response to its gradual reopening and leading public health and safety measure, Lorna Jane is offering 1:1 closed-door styling sessions. During reduced trading times, shoppers can book an appointment (30 minutes to 1 hour) with an active stylist at a local shop and experience “no-touch” bra and tight-fitting demonstrations and contactless payment methods via gift card, credit card, Afterpay, WeChat Pay, Apple Pay, and/or Zip Pay.

With COVID-19 emphasizing health and wellbeing, Lorna Jane is looking to maintain relevance, provide connectivity, and increase its offering. Simply book an appointment online (with a desired time and location) and the in-store team will organize the overall personalized approach to retailing and, most importantly, call in advance to speak with the customer and learn more about what it is she wants from the experience and prepare the store ahead of time.

“The vision of the closed-door styling sessions [is] to provide our customers with a safe environment where they could receive styling advice, technical product information, and connect with someone outside of their immediate family who [shares] their love of health and fitness,” company founder and chief creative offer, Lorna Jane Clarkson explained.

Along with additional cleaning measures and methods in place, Lorna Jane has expanded its First Wear initiative, which the company has been practising in-store for some time. Based on minimizing skin-to-product contact, it allows shoppers to purchase freshly packaged garments that haven’t been tried on or touched by anyone outside of the clean space factories. Although she says the reopening process is a balance of safety for all, government directives, and consumer needs, the next steps of the company include educating shoppers on the benefits of First Wear and integrating the personalized approach to browsing and buying as a permanent part of the in-store Lorna Jane customer experience. Also, on the go: The introduction of LJShield, the sustainable and eco-friendly coating, which when applied to the garments protects shoppers from bacteria, mold, viruses, and funguses. Originally scheduled to be released in September, the company launched LJShield in July given its commitment to customer safety and COVID-19.

As a result of the public response to offering the styling service, Lorna Jane recognized an existing and continuing demand within its target market. Clarkson added that the one-on-one experience enhanced the brand’s narrative, making customers feel more connected to the messaging and motivated to make healthy living choices and changes. Beyond offering that personal experience, the styling session is about forming a genuine connection and showing customers that the Lorna Jane team is willing to do more for them when they need it most.

“[COVID-19 has brought the online and in-store experience closer than ever before. We are finding that, instead of shopping exclusively either online or in-store, our customers are now more open to shopping between the two. [They are doing their research online and picking up in-store],” Clarkson noted.

“[We are such a digitally connected society that this was destined to happen, but I think the pandemic fast-tracked it. Recent times have created more of a one-customer mindset for our business. We are focused on creating a consistent experience from online to in-store].”