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Icebreaker Opens First Factory Outlet Store in the United States
Portland, Ore. (1 February 2010) – Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, today announced that it will open its first factory outlet store in the world in Woodburn, Oregon by April 1, 2010.
The company, which opened a design center in Portland, Oregon in 2007, moved its U.S. sales and marketing operations to the city and opened its first North American Touch_Lab store there in 2007. Icebreaker’s Touch_Lab store is located on the corner of 11th and West Burnside, across from Powell’s in Portland’s Pearl District.
“The opening of our first factory outlet store in the U.S. will help us better manage inventories and provide the newest innovative New Zealand merino apparel to North American retailers,” said Russ Hopcus, president of Icebreaker USA. “Oregonians have been really enthusiastic about Icebreaker product since we’ve moved here. This will give more local people access to our product, and build off the energy created by our flagship Icebreaker store next to Powell’s.”
The 1,400 square-foot retail store will open at the Woodburn Company Stores, the largest tax-free outlet center in the Western United States, featuring more than 95 upscale outlet stores and attracting more than 4.2 million visitors in 2009. Woodburn Company Stores is conveniently located off Interstate 5 at Woodburn exit 271, just 25 minutes south of downtown Portland and 15 minutes north of Salem.
Icebreaker continues to grow in the United States, as consumers discover the benefits of natural New Zealand merino, which is silky soft against the skin, insulates beautifully, breaths effectively, and doesn’t itch or hold odor. The company is dedicated to sustainability and in 2008 launched its Baacode traceability program, which enables consumers to trace their apparel through a unique code stitched into the inside of each garment. Earlier this month the company opened its first independent Icebreaker store opening in Europe at 21st Avenue Michel Croz, Chamonix, Mont-Blanc, France.
Launched in 1994, Icebreaker was the first company in the world to develop a merino fiber layering system for the outdoors. It was also the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. There are now 10 distinct pure merino fabrics in the Icebreaker system, covering underwear, mid layer, and outerwear.
Icebreaker is sold in more than 2,000 stores in 24 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Icebreaker uses only pure merino hand-picked from 120 high country stations in the country's Southern Alps to create edgy outdoor clothing that combines nature's work with human technology and design. The company is committed to sustainability, ethical manufacturing and animal welfare. In 2008 the company launched “Icebreaker Baacode,” a pioneering supply chain transparency and traceability program. Each Icebreaker includes a unique Baacode, which enables customers to trace the garment online from rearing the sheep through to each stage of the supply chain process.