The fall season tends to be a big month for store openings as retailers look to get off to a good start with strong sales during the holiday season.
It’s no exception in the outdoor industry, and these days we see more brands than independent specialty retailers opening locations.
>> Arc’teryx opened its first U.S. store in downtown Seattle this September, a 2,300-square foot location at 400 Pike St. While the store is No. 1 in the United States for Arc’teryx, it’s the Canadian brand’s tenth store in the world, including locations in Vancouver, Montreal, Seoul, Zurich and London. “Customers will be able to learn more about our research and design processes through hands on technology engagement areas within the store as well as from trained store staff,” said Arc’teryx Vice President and Director of Marketing Adam Ketcheson.
“There's a growing, loyal following for the brand and this store is a way for us to showcase the newest and fullest assortment of Arc'teryx products to our consumers, while also allowing them to discover what the brand stands for,” said Adam Ketcheson, VP Senior Director of Marketing & B2C.
>> In early October, Teva opened its first-ever retail store with a location in the Orlando Premium Outlets at 8225 Vineland Avenue #2091 with its complete selection of product. The store's interior will include real consumer and ambassador stories throughout the space, as well as interactive displays and areas dedicated to customer gatherings. Upcoming events will include video screenings, outdoor excursions, and workshops.
"Our goal is to have the store act as a platform for sharing the Teva lifestyle," said Jason Bertoli, retail marketing manager at Teva. "This includes having customers share their stories with us, but is also about using the retail store as a catalyst for outdoor adventure. This comes to life in-store with staff recommendations, suggested local activities, organized excursions, and other engaging events, all with the goal of making adventure as accessible as possible for the community and Teva fans that visit Orlando from around the world."
>> Swedish-outdoor brand Fjällräven continues to make inroads in the United States, opening its first flagship domestic location at 38 Greene Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City in early November. The brand also opened another New York City location at 262 Mott street and one in Boulder, Colo. at 777 Pearl St.
>> Timbuk2 opened its first international store in Singapore in early November, where it will sell brand product and showcase its new custom bag builder. The interactive station at the Bugis Junction store will allow customers to design and order custom bags or accessory items made in the Timbuk2 San Francisco factory in as short as two weeks. A touch screen, fabric swatches and bag samples guide customer options and the station is a first step to offer the service in cities across Asia, officials said. Timbuk2 opened its first brand store in its hometown of San Francisco in 2006 and recently opened a second store stateside in Setalle in May 2013.
>> GoLite, which switched to the direct-to-consumer model several years ago, opened a new 5,000 square-foot location at 750 Main Ave. in Durango, Colo. in November. The Boulder, Colo.-based outdoor apparel and gear maker now has 18 locations in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon and Idaho.
>> Liberty Bottleworks didn’t have to go far to open its first retail location in October, creating a space right in front of its factory at 2900 Sutherland Drive in Union Gap, Wash.
“This facility has always been a factory first and foremost, but there’s been so much interest in buying bottles here, checking things out and supporting the brand, it was high time we created a space for that,” said Co-Founder and Senior Vice President Ryan Clark. “Instead of just creating a store out front, we wanted to match the company’s vibe and make it more like a lounge, a place where people want to gather and be part of our community.”
The 169-square foot space was designed and constructed by Liberty staff and local contractors and features a wall made from recycled pallets, sustainable bamboo flooring and shelving made from reclaimed boxcar flooring salvaged from Yakima’s historic Track 29.
Despite all the brand direct-to-consumer openings, traditional independent outdoor specialty retail is still kicking with a few new-location announcements.
>> In November, Austin Canoe and Kayak opened a fifth location with its new store in San Antonio at 12770 Cimarron Path. The 5,000 square-foot store will feature a broad selection of kayaks, stand up paddle boards, camping and other outdoor gear for sale, as well as kayak and SUP rentals and installation and repair services.
“Our San Marcos location has been a success thanks to the support of many of our loyal customers from the San Antonio and southeast coastal regions,” said Chris Hackerd, vice president of store operations. “We are excited to finally open a store that is a little closer to home for them while also expanding our reach farther south, closer to the coastal cities.”
With a growing retail business in-store and online, Austin Canoe and Kayak also leased a new 30,000 square-foot warehouse to expand by 10,000 feet, but consolidate its two warehouses and all support functions in a single location. It also made plans to lease an additional 12,000 square feet at the location. in 2015.
“Since moving into the current warehouse in 2008, we have more than quadrupled our product assortment and have pushed the limits on space both for products as well as people.“ said CEO, Peter Messana. “Consolidating three locations into one will allow for greater efficiency throughout the entire organization.”
>> National outdoor retailer REI is recently announced another new store location, this one in the Salem-Kaiser, Ore. area, slated to open in spring 2014.
The 22,000 square-foot store at Kaiser Station will “extend our services and product expertise to 13,300 eager and loyal members in Salem, who previously traveled more than 30 miles to shop at an REI store,” said Kevin House, REI retail director for the Sierra-Cascade district. REI will hire approximately 50 employees for the new store. It has 132 stores in 33 states.