Pendleton and Funko debut new concepts
Pendleton Woolen Mills on Thursday opened a new flagship store in hometown Portland, Oregon and broadcast the event via live video platform company Brandlive, according to a company press release.
There is also a documentary of fifth generation wool rancher Cameron Krebs and his family’s century-old partnership with the 153 year-old family-owned textile and garment company, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Funko, a leading pop culture consumer products company, this week announced the opening on Saturday of its first retail store and new headquarters, The Funko HQ, in Everett, Washington. The event will feature live musical performances, games, exclusive giveaways, food trucks and appearances by special guests, according to a company press release.
Both these companies — Funko is just a few years old while Pendleton has been around for 153 years — are mixing the old and the new. Funko has remodeled a historic 90,000 square foot building, transforming the downtown Everett space into a destination to reflect its pop-culture sensibilities. It’s an interactive opportunity that features an expansive collection of licensed collectible products, including Funko Pop! vinyl figures, Dorbz, plush and more, as well handbags, backpacks and fashion accessories from the company’s latest acquisition, Loungefly, the company said.
"We set out to create a pop-culture hub in Everett that not only will support our future growth but that will inspire our team and our amazing Funko fans, and that’s exactly what we’ve accomplished today," said Brian Mariotti, CEO of Funko. "I’m thrilled to finally unveil this project which is a love letter to the unique phenomenon that is the fandom of Funko."
The new headquarters will have 300 employees in its expanding art, marketing, sales, finance, information technology, human resources, operations and legal departments. The Funko HQ retail store will also host special events.
Pendleton is a storied American company with a solid reputation. Retailers with such legacies, though, also have to work to capture and hold the attention of younger consumers, who may be less cognizant of their brands.
Pendleton has a particularly valuable opportunity in its relationship with millennial farmer Krebs — who represents both the old and the new guard in light of his family’s longstanding work supplying Pendleton wool.
"Brands like Pendleton recognize that today’s consumer doesn’t just buy products based on taste and that the brand behind the products is equally important," Brandlive CEO and co-founder Fritz Brumder said in a statement. "Having an authentic voice, a dedication to quality and a direct channel to the consumer allows Pendleton to continue to innovate and be true to their brand."
And Pendleton is deploying modern marketing to further the effort. "We are proud of our history and the quality of our products," Pendleton Director of Marketing Kathy Monaghan said in a statement. "We wish to use this milestone event as an opportunity to connect with Pendleton customers to bring them into the story and celebrate the unique American story of Pendleton Woolen Mills. Through live video, we are able to invite audiences to share this very authentic experience with us."
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