U.S. footwear brand Allbirds has finalised its new partnership with South Korean distributor, EFG Corporation, as the sustainable brand shifts from a direct go-to-market model to third-party distribution.
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As part of the deal, EFG will oversee the distribution of Allbirds products across the retail, online and wholesale channels in South Korea, and will allocate dedicated brand and marketing resources to the partnership, according to a press release.
“We are pleased to be delivering another material proofpoint under our strategic transformation plan,” said Annie Mitchell, chief financial officer of Allbirds. “
We are looking forward to leveraging the regional knowledge and expertise of our new distributors as we focus on building scale and driving long term growth in key international markets. Importantly, this operating model will also enable us to reduce costs and improve profitability in these markets.”
Founded in 2016 by Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown, Allbirds started out with just one sneaker, the ‘Wool Runner’, which uses superfine merino wool from New Zealand. Since its inception, the company has released an array of sneakers, and entered the apparel vertical.
“We aim to introduce brands that truly resonate with sustainability to the Korean market – I am incredibly proud that we will represent Allbirds, a perfect fit for the brands we aspire to partner with,” said Jeewoo Park, CEO at EFG, about the new partnership.
In 2020, Allbirds revealed plans to enter South Korea. At the time of the announcement, the San Francisco-based firm said the Korean market was set to be an important part of its international expansion, particularly given its ties to the city of Busan, where it makes its Wool Runner sneakers.