- Footwear brand Sorel is opening its first pop-up shop this Friday in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood in New York City.
- The 900-square-foot pop-up store will be open through Oct. 22, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
- The space will feature the brand’s signature color — optimized orange — and will also include an augmented reality experience, boot customization charm bar and a life-size polar bear featuring local art.
Sorel is turning to tech to amplify the in-store experience at its first pop-up store.
The AR experience features a full body mirror-sized screen consumers can stand in front of and choose different effects like snow or rain. As they move, the effects on the mirror, including the footwear, react, per the company.
The pop-up also coincides with the 50th anniversary of Sorel’s Caribou silhouette. Available styles at the Brooklyn pop-up will include a small run from the brand’s current Fall collection, including the Caribou Royal, Caribou Clog, Caribou X Boot Lace, Kinetic Impact Puffy Zip, Joan Now Chelsea and ONA III Classic. Sorel is also collaborating with singer and actor Chloe Bailey on a limited-edition boot style that is available exclusively at the pop-up.
“This moment is more than a pop-up for Sorel,” Natalie Hayes, vice president of global brand marketing at Sorel, said in a statement. “It represents over 50 years of industry-leading experience in footwear, showcasing how Sorel heritage styles – like the Caribou – are truly timeless.”
Hayes said the decision to open a pop-up in Brooklyn was an easy one for the brand. “New York has long served as a muse to Sorel,” Hayes said. “We’re inspired by the people, thriving cultural and art scene, and energy in Brooklyn. This pop-up is a way for us to honor and celebrate that inspiration in a fun way.”
The location comes at a time when more brands that have traditionally sold through wholesale channels seek ways to increase their customer base by opening their first stores. Two of those, Radio Flyer and Melissa & Doug, both announced plans to open flagship locations in 2023.
In addition to its Sorel website, the footwear brand sells products through wholesale partnerships with the likes of Nordstrom, Zappos, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Scheels.
Sorel has recently undergone leadership changes, with president Mark Nenow in June stepping down from his position of about eight years to focus on his health. Nenow was responsible for helping to transform the company from primarily being a men’s work boot brand to more of a women-led, fashion-forward brand.
For the three months ended June 30, Sorel’s net sales increased 32% year over year to $37.8 million. Founded in 1962, Sorel is a division of Columbia Sportswear Company.