Verishop, a new online department store created to appeal to millennial and Gen Z shoppers, is establishing a hub operation in Dallas.
Co-founders Imran and Cate Khan have moved to Dallas from California to open a third hub for the new e-commerce business, which launched in June 2019.
The e-commerce business, which sells apparel and accessories for men, women and children, home, beauty and wellness, now operates from New York City and Santa Monica. It has warehouses in Chicago and New Jersey and plans a third in Dallas.
“Texas has a great talent pool, and a lot of people want to stay in Texas, and we want to tap into that talent,” Imran Khan said. The state’s “top-notch University of Texas, two airports and a diversity of some great companies in Dallas” contributed to the decision.
After living in New York and Los Angeles, the Verishop team considered other cities, including Chicago and Austin, but the couple chose Dallas because of “being able to get to the airport in 10 minutes from my house and some awesome restaurants," Imran Khan said.
The company has raised $30 million, and its co-founders are technology company veterans. The Khans have been married since 2006 and after successful separate career paths decided to form Verishop in 2018. They say they want to fill a void and designed the site to work with the ways that shopping and discovering products have changed with social media.
About 65% of Verishop’s customers are under 35 years old. In July, the company launched a social commerce app on the Apple store with a browsing experience that mimics Instagram. It’s another shopping platform for the more than 800 brands it sells.
Imran Khan is former chief strategy officer of Snap Inc., the camera and social media company that owns Snapchat, Spectacles and Bitmoji. Earlier, he was an investment banker. As managing director at Credit Suisse in 2014, he worked on the Alibaba IPO, which was the largest initial public offering for any stock at the time, raising $25 billion.
Cate Khan had been a senior executive at Amazon since 2011, including head of retail at Quidsi. Earlier, she held executive jobs at Avon, L’Oreal and Accenture.
The company employs 70 people but plans to increase hiring in Dallas. About a third of the staff started working since March, Khan said.
Starting an e-commerce company just a few months before a pandemic hit created uncertainties but also positives as Americans stepped up their online shopping, he said.
“It’s an interesting year and also an election year, so people are distracted, but we’re ready for the holiday season,” he said.
The name of the online department store is a nod to a guarantee it makes that product has been verified and that shoppers will not be sold counterfeit merchandise, which has been an issue for third-party marketplace platforms.
Verishop operates like a traditional department store, such as Macy’s or Nordstrom. It buys merchandise wholesale and has consignment product that is owned by the individual brands but sold through Verishop. Other purchases are shipped directly to customers from the manufacturer.
The startup didn’t disclose revenue. While traditional department stores have been been losing market share for years and are closing stores, these companies have grown significant digital businesses. Last year, Macy’s online sales represented more than $5 billion, or about a quarter of total sales. About 30%, or more than $1.3 billion, of Neiman Marcus’ sales last year were digital.