A former Showpo employee once described Showpo as a brand “by girls for girls”.
So when the online retailer announced yesterday that it was launching a new range: “Showbro”, we couldn’t quite believe it.
And we were right.
Business Insider spoke to Showpo founder Jane Lu who revealed it was a hoax. Check the calendar.
“It was just an elaborate prank,” she said.
“People are always saying ‘you should do men’s wear’, they always think that they’ve come up with a great idea that I haven’t already thought of. This is just literally a prank and get people off our back about men’s wear.”
The idea was conjured up after talking to the folks at Freelancer who made a mock website in November.
“It started with the Freelancer boys saying if you don’t do it we’ll do it, as a joke,” she said.
April 1 was the perfect day to execute it.
“The Freelancer developer even has put his name at the bottom of the site as CEO of Showpo,” she said.
The names of the designs were a dead giveaway.
Showpo made the scheme look legitimate by bringing on male social media influencers such as Shaun Birley, who was also in on the joke and was publicising it as the real deal.
An Instagram account, @Showbro.com.au was also set up.
Speaking about whether it would be good exposure for the brand, after the post announcing Showbro was shared hundreds of times, Lu said it was more so about having a bit of fun.
“I think it’s great for branding because it really shows our personality,” she said. “But we do things for fun… not everything is revenue driven.”
The Sydney-based fashion retailer has been killing it recently.
In September the business announced it hit $25 million run rate with 35% of sales occurring internationally.
While it had aspirations to hit 50% but the end of 2016, but fell short, Lu said Australian sales had gone through the roof.
“I really thought Australia wasn’t going to grow but it has grown so much this year,” she told Business Insider in December 2016. “Like almost 80%.”
When it comes to updated numbers on the run rate, Lu says she’s waiting for a bigger milestone before announcing any new figures.
“It’s definitely higher but I want to reach a bigger milestone before we announce anything.”
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