Allbirds, the environmentally friendly shoe and activewear brand, is continuing its expansion into physical retail with the opening of two new stores in the United States. The company has recently opened a location in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as another in Oakbrook, Illinois. This marks Allbirds’ second store in the Boston area and its second location in Chicago.

The Cambridge store, situated at 29 Brattle Street, spans a generous 2,892 square feet. It showcases Allbirds’ diverse range of footwear and apparel collections, with a particular emphasis on highlighting the carbon footprint of each product. This aligns with the brand’s commitment to sustainability. The design of the store incorporates materials used in Allbirds’ products, including merino wool, sugarcane, and eucalyptus tree fiber. The ambiance of the store reflects the natural world, featuring organic shapes in the form of wooden chairs, displays, and mirrors.

Similarly, the Oakbrook store, located at 100 Oakbrook Center, covers the same 2,892 square feet. It shares the same aesthetic as the Cambridge store, using sustainable materials and natural shapes in its design. The Oakbrook store offers unique products that are inspired by the local community, including Oakbrook Black Crowned Night Heron shoe laces, Field Museum of Natural History-inspired pins, and limited-edition Allbirds Oakbrook tote bags.

Allbirds, initially an online footwear business founded in San Francisco in 2014, now operates a total of 33 physical stores across North America, Asia, and Europe. In August, the company expanded its offerings by launching a performance apparel collection, and in September, it filed for an IPO. Allbirds sees the expansion into brick-and-mortar retail as a crucial part of its growth strategy. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Allbirds expressed its intention to potentially have hundreds of stores in the future. The brand believes that as its store presence grows, it will experience accelerated growth through more efficient customer acquisition and increased digital traffic resulting from exposure through physical stores.

According to Allbirds, customers who visit both physical stores and the brand’s website spend 1.5 times more than those who only shop online or visit a brick-and-mortar location. This data further motivates Allbirds to open new stores, as the brand anticipates highly profitable outcomes and attractive payback periods. Allbirds remains optimistic about the recovery of physical retail from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and believes that its new stores are well-positioned to take advantage of the rebound.

In 2020, Allbirds reported a net loss of $25.9 million on revenues of $220 million. The closure of its brick-and-mortar stores due to the pandemic significantly affected the brand, with 89% of sales coming from e-commerce and only 11% from physical locations. However, Allbirds remains determined to expand its physical store footprint and continue its mission of providing sustainable footwear and activewear options to its customers.

Useful links:
1. Official Allbirds Website
2. Allbirds’ Journey to IPO