The North Face ® Opens New Barcelona Retail Store With Athlete Outreach Events

The North Face®, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, today announced the impending opening of a new retail partnership store in Barcelona, Spain, on 7 March 2008. The Barcelona store is the first new store for 2008 for The North Face® EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and, as such, the first to incorporate an updated retail design.
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The North Face®, the world's premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, today announced the impending opening of a new retail partnership store in Barcelona, Spain, on 7 March 2008. The Barcelona store is the first new store for 2008 for The North Face® EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and, as such, the first to incorporate an updated retail design.

The new store will kick off with a press and VIP event on Thursday, 6 March, before opening its doors to the public on Friday, 7 March. In the weeks following the store opening, two dates are planned as part of a series of events targeting youth. Sponsored athletes from The North Face® will serve as positive role models, sharing their stories and signing autographs, as well as answering questions and engaging the audience in discussions. “Our athletes are not just wonderful ambassadors for the brand,” says Keith Byrne, The North Face® Strategic Marketing Manager EMEA. “Our athletes are also important ambassadors for adventure sports. In an age when our young people spend an increasing amount of time indoors sitting in front of a monitor, inspiring them to get out and Never Stop Exploring is more crucial than ever.”

Renowned climbers and The North Face® athletes, Eneko and Iker Pou, will give an in-store presentation on Saturday, 29 March. Brothers from northern Spain, Eneko and Iker are fresh off the final success of their five-year Seven Walls/Seven Continents Tour. On Christmas Day 2007, Eneko and Iker celebrated the climax of their project with the successful free climb of an important new route on the Antarctic Peninsula: the first ascent of Three Pigs via a new route the brothers named Azken Paradisua. The Brothers Pou will also help inaugurate the new store at the press and VIP opening event on 6 March.

The North Face® athlete and native daughter of Barcelona, Ester Sabadell will give an in-store presentation on Saturday, 5 April. Originally trained as an economist, Ester discovered dual passions of filmmaking and mountaineering in 2001, when she served as a camera assistant on an expedition to Ama Dablam (6856m). In addition to capturing stunning footage, Ester summitted the famed Himalayan peak. Thus began a series of mountaineering adventures with the respected Spanish adventure television program, Al Filo de lo Imposible (“To the Edge of the Impossible”). In addition to mountaineering and filmmaking, Ester puts her economist background to work in collaborative efforts with the village of Hushé in Northern Pakistan, where she promotes economic development through sustainable adventure tourism.

The new store will be located in the Gran Vîa de los Corts Catalanes, one of the premier shopping areas in Barcelona. The third dedicated shop for The North Face® in Spain, the Barcelona store will incorporate the brand's updated retail design, featuring a blend of nature and innovation, with inspirational graphics, concrete floors, natural wood elements and trademark red accents. The shop is generously sized, with 280 square metres of retail space over four levels, connected with original historic staircases. “Our new retail design features a point-of-view merchandising theme,” explains Patrik Frisk, VP and General Manager for The North Face® EMEA. “The unique presentation promotes a sense of exploration for our customers, allowing them to discover the brand and technical highlights throughout the store.”

The Barcelona store will launch with an array of merchandise from The North Face® Spring 2008 product line, including the Endurance and Expedition Essentials collections. Designed for high-paced, aerobic activities like endurance running and adventure racing, the products of the Endurance collection are fast, lightweight, breathable and durable. The products of the Expedition Essentials collection are designed for reaching high elevations and deep backcountry quickly and comfortably. As such, these products focus on function first, and are lightweight and durable.

Today, there are 32 The North Face® retail stores, both partnership and owned, in the EMEA region. “Retail stores continue to be an important strategic initiative for The North Face® EMEA,” comments Topher Gaylord, President of VF Outdoor & Action Sports International, which comprises The North Face®, Vans® and Reef® brands. “Our retail stores enable us to successfully showcase our brand, while providing consumers an unrivalled and authentic outdoor shopping experience. We are pleased to now offer our customers the most comprehensive The North Face® product range available in Barcelona.”

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