Allbirds Plans to Open 20 Brick-and-Mortar Stores Next Year
The shoe company Allbirds is continuing its brick-and mortar expansion with plans to open 20 more stores in 2020, CNBC reported. Tim Brown, co-founder and co-CEO, made the announcement earlier this week. Allbirds, which sells environmentally sustainable wool sneakers, started online only, but began opening stores in the last few years. Allbirds currently has 15 brick-and-mortars. The expansion will includes stores in the U.S., China, the U.K., and New Zealand.
In Brown's announcement he explained Allbirds is excited to expand its physical footprint because it gives customers an opportunity to touch and try its products. As of right now, Allbirds doesn't have plans to go public, but instead is focused on executing and growing the business in a sustainable manner, CNBC reported.
Total Retail's Take: With so much footwear competition online, having brick-and-mortar stores where consumers can come in and try on and actually feel the wool sneakers makes a lot of sense for Allbirds. In fact, digital-native brands opening physical stores isn't uncommon. Others like Warby Parker and Casper have also opened brick-and-mortar stores as another way to get their products in front of consumers. While this can be a springboard to future business growth, it's important to be smart and mindful of where and how you're expanding. There are cautionary tales of brands expanding their physical presence too quickly (see Sugarfina). Measured growth without sacrificing operations is the key to digital-native brands moving offline.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.