Allbirds eyes more UK stores in London and other major cities
American shoe brand Allbirds is planning to open more stores in London and other major UK cities, just a year after launching its first UK outpost in Covent Garden.
Allbirds is riding the wave of the increasing popularity of ethical products among fashion consumers, promising “the world’s most comfortable shoes” made using recycled materials and responsibly-sourced fibres.
According to the brand’s managing director in Europe, Sandeep Verma, the sustainable firm has seen rapid growth since launching in the UK in July 2018. Since the opening of its first European flagship store in London, Allbirds accelerated its international expansion to reach 13 European countries.
And while the brand currently gets the majority of sales through its online site, bricks-and-mortar stores continue to be a key part of its strategy as it gives customers the opportunity to feel the product and talk with sales advisers.
“Our growth plan is focused on a number of key areas, including international growth, which Europe is a good example of, and also a desire for more stores. The stores for us have a really important role,” Sandeep Verma told media this week. “Not only can we offer our consumer a chance to try a shoe on which is important - they can also experience the materials and hear the stories from our advisers.
“We're really proud of the interaction we have with our consumer because when you're a good direct-to-consumer brand, you're making a commitment with your consumer, which is on a much deeper level.”
He added that the London store has enjoyed an “incredible” reception from shoppers and is performing well in terms of sales and return rates.
Founded in the US in 2014, Allbirds has been branded “the Apple of shoe companies” for its innovative approach. The business was valued at more than $1.4 billion (£1.1 billion) in 2018 after raising $50 million through fundraising.
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