New Zealand footwear brand Allbirds opened its first store in its home nation of New Zealand, as the online retailer of nature fibre shoes sets its sights on physical retail to increase shoe sales.
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Despite waiting five years to open in New Zealand, Allbirds has long envisioned a domestic flagship store, but has held off given it could not locate the right location, according to reports.
“We always imagined we would open a store in New Zealand. It is one of our founding markets, its where I am from and where our key material, wool, is from,” Allbirds’ co-founder, Tim Brown told local media.
Located in Auckland’s Britomart Precinct, the first New Zealand Allbirds store is designed with a neutral, dark and natural colour palette with its service area inspired by Auckland volcanoes.
With the products renowned for technological innovation in materials, the store remains more traditional in service; void of digital hang-ups with a focus on the firm’s sustainable footwear and service.
“We are not leveraging technology in any crazy new way, we are just trying to care deeply about the details,” added Brown, who founded Allbirds with Joey Zwillinger five years ago, following a Kickstarter funding initiative that raised $NZ3.7 million.
The New Zealand store comes on the back of successful store openings abroad in markets such as the U.S. the UK, and China.
Launching as an online platform in 2014, the company opened its first-ever retail store in the U.S. in San Francisco in 2017.
Over the past four years, Allbirds has continued to improve its sustainable shoe products, investing heavily in new material development and product design.
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The company said it plans to bring on more designers in the coming months, after
launching its debut sock collection on August 14.