NRF Member Spotlight: Altar’d State

Consumers have adapted to tech advancements made during the pandemic

During the pandemic, retailers quickly developed new strategies to connect with consumers at home. Now consumers have adapted to retailers’ innovations and expect them to last. We connected with NRF retail member Altar’d State, a lifestyle and fashion brand, and its sister brands to learn more about consumer behavior in 2021 and the upcoming wedding season.

Can you share the idea behind “Misson Mondays” and other upcoming projects to support local communities?

Giving back is more than what we do — it’s who we are. Mission Mondays are a way for us to connect with our local communities and allow our guests to be part of our mission to do good. We give back 10 percent of our in-store profits every Monday to organizations big and small. The nonprofit partnerships are made on a local level by our store teams in an effort to further build and serve our communities. These efforts fall under a larger corporate give-back strategy that changes quarterly with each new season.

- Meredith Masingill, brand manager, Altar’d State

Retailers are preparing for next steps as we transition into the post-pandemic environment. How is Altar'd State preparing for this change?

The pandemic saw a paradigm shift in the way our guests interact with brands digitally. Our guest is now fluent in online delivery, curbside pickup and video conferencing — not to mention choreographed dancing on TikTok. We’ll be enhancing our already robust digital offering to meet them where they are, making the connection between the online and in-store experience seamless. This will be achieved through a mix of technological solutions across all brands, and a broadened product offering that will serve them at every stage of their life.

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We also look forward to the re-launch of our mid- to plus-sized brand, Arula, formerly A’Beautiful Soul. Arula offers a distinctive shopping experience for those sized 10-24. More than a retail store, Arula was designed to indulge their senses, inspire them and empower them through fashion and community.

- Kathryn Schnoor, brand manager, Arula; Ty Tastepe, SVP and chief information and digital officer, Altar’d State

Considering the recent launch of the Vow’d brand, how do you see the wedding market pivoting post-pandemic?

Weddings are back! After a year of choosing between micro-weddings or postponement, couples are ready to celebrate. Vow’d is perfectly poised for the return of big celebrations with an assortment of beautifully crafted dresses that ship in days (not months) and a store experience that is uncomplicated and fun.

- Rebekah Browning, brand manager, Vow’d

How has NRF supported your company during the pandemic?

NRF has provided regular updates on the evolving COVID-19 landscape and its impact on retailers through emails and calls. NRF also kept us informed on how new government policies related to COVID-19 impacted retailers and provided guidance on how we should navigate the opportunities presented by the programs.

- Meredith Masingill, brand manager, Altar’d State

What is your favorite NRF resource?

We have been participating on the CIO Council and had the ability to tap into the collective wisdom of CIOs from the broader retail community as we navigated the pandemic, and also had the opportunity to learn from each other as we introduced technology innovation to our organizations.

- Ty Tastepe, SVP and chief information and digital officer, Altar’d State

What is your company's favorite thing about being an NRF member?

As an NRF member, we appreciate that NRF is our advocate on important policy issues. NRF provides us a forum to gain insights from industry leaders and visionaries and the opportunity to network with retail’s best leaders.

- Ty Tastepe, SVP and chief information and digital officer, Altar’d State

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