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Fall’s here, and that means a business rush to open new stores before the consumer holiday rush.
In the outdoor world, the trend of late continues with more brands opening direct-to-consumer stores, but we also saw a few traditional outdoor retailers like Austin Canoe and Kayak and Rock Creek open or announce expansions.
>> In Jackson Hole, Wyo., Steve Sullivan’s latest venture Stio got its retail start in October, opening its “mountain studio” on the town’s main square. Sullivan, who founded Cloudveil, said the new mountain lifestyle brand will be direct-to-consumer only, as SNEWS first reported back in June. “The opening of the store is the final piece in our launch puzzle,” Sullivan said, “The presence of a physical storefront will really allow us to engage with our consumer on an entirely different level, which will in turn better serve our audience.”
>> Arc’teryx reopened its downtown Montreal, Canada store, renovated to a smaller footprint with updated designs and capabilities. Giving consumers exactly what they want, the store will be able to access any product available in Arc’teryx’s Canadian warehouse. Meanwhile, sister brand Salomon, opened its first store in Montreal, directly adjacent to Arc’teryx. Both companies are owned by Amer Sports.
>> Timberland is moving on up in New York City, announcing plans to relocate its store at 24 West 57th St. to the seventh floor of 104 Fifth Ave, near the popular Union Square, in June 2013. The new 9,500-square foot showroom will provide an open space to highlight product and feature environmentally-minded elements such as recycled and reclaimed materials, officials said.
>> Marmot opened its doors on a new 2,500 square-foot retail space in the King of Prussia Mall in eastern Pennsylvania. The store marks Marmot’s first retail mall location in North America, and it is adjacent to the new Burton retail store, which also opened recently.
>> Ibex will open its first Seattle, Wash. store this November, the second to its flagship store in Boston. The 1,250 square-foot retail location in downtown Seattle’s University Village will strive to become part of the community by hosting local events and community-building opportunities.
>> Lucy Activewear will launch a two-year retail expansion plan with a new store prototype launching this fall at its Burlingame, Calif. location. Working with The Rockwell Group, the new stores will offer generous social space for shoppers, communal tables and benches with an overall more relaxed feel. The new store concept will serve as a test location, which which Lucy aims to increase its 57-store U.S. footprint significantly, with a majority of the openings reflecting the next concept.
>> It’s not just brand stores opening new locations. Some outdoor retailers, especially those that have done well online, are opening more brick-and-mortar locations. Rock/Creek will add a fifth store in Chattanooga, Tenn. by summer 2013. The new 3,800 square-foot store will be located in a downtown redevelopment called The Block, with the unique feature of an outdoor climbing wall scaling the building’s exterior.
>> Outdoor retailer Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) will open a fourth location in Spring, Texas, just north of Houston. The 5,100 square-foot store at 23310 North I-45 will offer an expansive selection of paddlesports, camping and other outdoor adventure gear along with associated services and events.
>> One of the nation’s largest online outdoor retailers, Backcountry.com, will continue to grow thanks to a new East Coast distribution center in Christiansburg, Va. The 315,000-square foot facility, which broke ground about a year ago, opened its doors this fall to prep for the busy holiday season. Backcountry purchased the land and built the building to its needs with the ability to grow to a total of half a million square feet. The new distribution center employs about 30 people, but expects to hire another 215 people within the next two years. Backcountry.com officials say the new location, in addition to its main facility in Utah, cuts its transportation CO2 emissions to shipments in the area by 91 percent, plus speeds up delivery and doubles fulfillment capabilities.