As of August 16, The Woodlands is home to menswear brand Bonobos' 55th store nationwide—kind of a big deal for an online company that never planned to open any physical stores. The e-tailer that promises "better-fitting, better-looking" clothes for men caved in 2011—four years after doing business solely on the internet—after enough customers wanted to try styles on in-person to warrant a change of plans.
Still, what became the Bonobos Guideshop is not your average brick-and-mortar: Though it bears a striking resemblance to a regular store, it's just for show. The Guideshop serves as a showcase for online inventory, meaning guys can fit-test suits and jeans and everything in between, but don't expect to walk out with any bags. The actual stockroom is Bonobos' website—centralizing inventory means a greater chances your preferred size and style is available, Bonobos says, and also leads to cost savings—and Guideshop employees will essentially place an order for you in-store. It won't arrive at your home until about four days later, of course, but Bonobos actually considers that a plus, too: "Purchases are shipped free-of-charge directly to the customer, eliminating the load of carrying around cumbersome bags." Touché.
Designed around the fitting room rather than the cash register, the concept also allows for better customer service, Bonobos says, as Guideshop guides (get it?) are assigned to work directly with each customer upon arrival and nail down precisely what they need. That's been going on since 2015 in River Oaks District, but the brand expanded outside the loop this month when a 1,500-square-foot opening appeared at The Woodlands' Market Street shopping center. The store features murals curated by local street artist Daniel Anguilu.
"Opening our first Bonobos Guideshop in The Woodlands is a huge win for our brand," said Bonobos co-president Micky Onvural. "Market Street is a lively shopping center full of restaurants and clothing retailers and we feel that the Bonobos Guideshop will fit right in."
In suite 875 at 9595 Six Pines Drive, the Guideshop is open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon–6 p.m. Friday. Walk-ins are welcome, but Bonobos recommends scheduling a free appointment online first.