Allbirds pushes forward with brick-and-mortar expansion, opens two new stores
Sustainable shoe and activewear brand Allbirds is continuing to expand its physical store network, opening two new U.S. locations, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Oakbrook, Illinois.
The brand’s second store in the Boston area, the Cambridge location is now open at 29 Brattle Street. The 2,892-square-foot location offers Allbirds’ footwear and apparel collections, displaying the carbon footprint of each product clearly, in line with the brand’s strong sustainable positioning.
The store’s design spotlights materials that are used in the label’s products, including merino wool, sugarcane and eucalyptus tree fiber, and aims to evoke the natural world with wooden chairs and displays, and mirrors in original, organic shapes.
The Oakbrook store also measures 2,892 square feet and is located at 100 Oakbrook Center. It is Allbirds’ second location in the Chicago area and channels a similar aesthetic to the Cambridge store, using the same sustainable materials and natural shapes.
The store features a number of unique products referencing the local community, including Oakbrook Black Crowned Night Heron shoe laces, pins inspired by Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, and limited-edition Allbirds Oakbrook tote bags.
Founded as an online footwear business in 2014, San Francisco-based Allbirds now operates 33 physical stores, spread across North America, Asia and Europe.
The company, which launched its first fully fledged performance apparel collection in August and filed for an IPO in September, sees brick-and-mortar expansion as an important part of its growth strategy.
In a SEC filing made by the brand this summer, Allbirds revealed, “we are in the early phase of a ramp towards hundreds of potential locations in the future,” going on to explain, “as our store fleet expands, we expect our growth to accelerate, as compared to 2020, through more efficient customer acquisition, while also receiving the benefit of increasing digital traffic as more people learn about our brand through our stores.”
According to the company, shoppers who visited both a physical store and the brand’s website through June 30, 2021, spent 1.5 times more than customers who only went to a brick-and-mortar store or shopped online.
“We believe our new stores will also be highly profitable, have attractive payback periods, serve as good capital investments, and be positioned well to take advantage of physical retail’s recovery from the pandemic,” said the brand.
Allbirds reported a net loss of $25.9 million on revenues of $220 million in 2020, when the company’s brick-and-mortar network was subject to prolonged closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 89% of the brand’s sales for the year came from e-commerce, while the rest were accounted for by physical stores.
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