- Ugg on Thursday announced that it opened its first flagship store at 530 Fifth Avenue in New York City, according to a company press release.
- The company stated that it will be opening "a curated fleet of flagship stores" internationally starting in 2021.
- The retailer concurrently released a regional version of its holiday ad campaign, "Feel Love," that features "real-life heroes." Ugg will open its flagship early for military, healthcare, fire and police workers from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. every Sunday through the end of 2020.
At a time when most apparel retailers are contracting, Ugg is expanding.
The Southern California-based company, which was founded in 1978, became a major fashion trend in the 2000s with the likes of Kate Hudson, Kate Moss and Paris Hilton sporting the brand's shearling boots. The trend subsided, but the retailer has seen a resurgence in interest in a moment defined by a need for comfort. Even as apparel struggles as a category, analysts are seeing consumers reach for products that are more relaxed. The NPD Group forecasts that sweatshirts, sweatpants, active bottoms, sleepwear and socks will make up 31% of total U.S. apparel spending during this holiday season.
Ugg seems to be seizing the moment. This fall, the retailer announced a new seasonal ready-to-wear collection featuring casual apparel in soft fabrics including sherpa, faux fur and fleece, according to Women's Wear Daily. The company also recently revealed a collaboration with designer brand Telfar, which will launch in 2021.
Yet, Ugg seems to be side-stepping a larger trend of retail shrinking its footprint. Other apparel retailers have decided to permanently close some of their locations, with Gap notably announcing the closure of its San Francisco flagship, Nordstrom permanently closing 16 of its full-line stores and its Jeffrey specialty apparel locations, and Ann Taylor's parent company Ascena shutting over 1,000 stores.
Ugg currently owns 130 concept and outlet stores internationally, including in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.