- UK-based footwear brand FitFlop has opened its first U.S. stand-alone retail store on Mercer Street in the heart of New York’s SoHo district, according to a press release.
- The 802-square-foot store was done in collaboration with the design agency Checkland Kindleysides and marks the beginning of the brand’s expansion program in the U.S. The store’s contemporary design features a light, bright atmosphere, red wave ceiling, tactile tiled wall and a large screen at the entrance.
- The store opening comes after FitFlop secured a five-year $30 million revolving credit facility from independent lender Aurelius Finance Company. Much of the funding will go toward increased branding, marketing and advertising to support the brand’s growth strategy.
FitFlop’s decision to locate in SoHo comes as several other lifestyle DTC brands have opened stores in the same trendy neighborhood, including Vuori, Joybird, Parachute and Faherty. While FitFlop can be found at retail partners around the country, the strategy to open its own branded stand-alone location gives the brand the opportunity to showcase its products directly to target consumers.
“We have a global strategy in place and the USA is one of the biggest markets as we look to evolve and grow in the wellness space,” FitFlop CEO Gianni Georgiades said in a statement. “Offline retail is a big part of our storytelling and gives us the opportunity to showcase our product and bring our USP to life in the physical realm.”
While the brand’s full range of products is available on its website, the SoHo store will offer a seasonal range of products in different silhouettes and sizes. Entering physical retail is increasingly becoming important for digitally native brands as a way to acquire more customers and allow consumers to test out a product before purchasing.
“Being able to touch and try on a product is important to consumers,” Matt Powell, adviser at Spurwink River, said. “As we emerged from the pandemic, consumers have returned to physical stores, but not back to 2019 levels.”
However, this isn’t FitFlop’s first foray into physical retail in the U.S. The brand’s products are available at retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack and DSW. Over the past year, FitFlop entered into new wholesale partnerships across the U.S. and Europe, Middle East and Africa markets, pushing its door count to over 5,700.
“We want customers to experience and engage with our product in real-life. We want to bring our customers on a journey,” Georgiades said in an email to Retail Dive. “This store will enhance our wholesale partnerships by increasing our brand presence and awareness in the U.S.”