Timberland opens new global flagship store on Broadway in SoHo – WWD
NEW YORK — Timberland has upped the volume of its key messages with the opening of its new global flagship store in SoHo.
The soft opening of the 3,254-square-foot store at 550 Broadway between Prince Street and Spring Street on Friday marked the unveiling of a design concept designed to showcase the brand’s dual mission of outfitting people for both work and the great outdoors.
“This is the best representation of our DNA,” said Susie Mulder, Timberland’s Global Brand President.
The concept also puts an increased focus on womenswear, a key growth category for the company, by showcasing feminine footwear and apparel right at the entrance.
The store also features The Shed, a personalization area where customers who sign up for Timberland’s newly launched membership program can have their shoes or clothing personalized. Timberland has a larger version at its New Hampshire headquarters, which also serves as a prototyping lab.
“Timberland may be a New England brand, but we consider New York City our second home,” said Tracy Smith, vice president and general manager of Timberland, Americas. “Upon entering the 550 store, consumers will be fully immersed in all aspects of Timberland’s outdoor and working heritage. Driving a strong physical retail presence in key cities is a key business priority for Timberland. And New York City is probably the most important city in the world for us. We wouldn’t be the iconic brand we are today if it weren’t for the New Yorker.”
This sentiment was shared by Mulder, who was in town to inaugurate the new location.
The company has long had a store in SoHo — a store at 474 Broadway opened in 2009 — and continues to be drawn by the high traffic that the neighborhood draws from both tourists and locals. But this new space “better represents what we do,” she said.
The materials used in the store’s design speak to the company’s ethos. The palette focuses on the brand-typical colors of wheat and safety orange. Movable metal fixtures are inspired by New York City scaffolding, while white oak and Oriented Strand Board wood panels help soften the look of the interior.
During the space’s renovation, teams uncovered the original brick walls, dating back to 1850 when it was a Tiffany store, and Timberland left the walls bare and intact.
A tribute to the brand’s commitment to sustainability, there are 10 Hans Boodt 3D-printed mannequins made from polylactic acid, a bio-based material made from cornstarch; the OSB wood panels consist of 100 percent recycled material; the white oak consists of 90 percent recycled wood; metal fixtures made from recycled materials and LED lighting have been used throughout the space.
There is a Timberloop drop-off box on the back where customers can bring end-of-life products to refurbish or reuse. Customers then receive a 20 percent discount to be used in store or online.
The store sells a full line of men’s, women’s and children’s footwear, apparel and accessories across the company’s Outdoor, Timberland Pro and Lifestyle categories. The location will also carry exclusive limited edition products and collaborations.
There are separate shoe walls for each gender, showing the breadth of the range, which ranges from branded boots to boat shoes and sandals. One of the company’s newest additions, the Motion 6 hiking shoe collection, is sold in store. And the Original Timberland Boot, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is an important part of that mix. The Edison-Chen design of the original boot is expected to launch in stores on March 30th.
Garments, many bearing the brand’s tree logo, are displayed by category throughout the store. Displays next to key in-store items — like waterproof jackets, graphic Ts, quick-dry shorts, and others — have QR codes consumers can scan for more information about the product.
Mulder said the store offers the largest selection of women’s clothing and pro offerings in the company’s fleet of stores.
“Women is a big focus for us now,” she said. “In fact, it’s one of the biggest priorities for the brand.” She said Timberland attracts a lot of female customers but is still viewed primarily as a men’s brand. So the company is reorganizing internally to have separate women’s and men’s teams to capitalize on what she described as a “missed opportunity”.
Womenswear accounts for less than 20 percent of the brand’s business and “the goal is to see it grow. I’d like to get it up to 50-50, but I’d be happy to see it north of 30-40 percent,” she said.
The increased focus on women’s items is already paying off in stores where the assortment is broader and the merchandising is appropriate, she said.
Clothing is also seen as an opportunity, Mulder added. Again, this category accounts for only 20 percent of sales globally, with higher numbers in Europe and Asia-Pacific and lower numbers in the US. ‘ Mulder said.
She said while Timberland is considered a distinctly American brand, 50 percent of its business is outside the US. The brand is sold in more than 100 countries and there are 173 company-owned stores worldwide. The number is even higher when you add partner and franchise stores, with more than 600 units in Europe and the Middle East and more than 500 in Asia.
The SoHo store is only the brand’s ninth full-price unit in America, along with 46 stores. While there are plans to open more stores, no details or timeframe have been revealed. Still, elements of the New York unit’s design will be used in the other stores, Mulder said, including the expanded line of women’s and pro products.
She also has high hopes for the membership program, which has been used in Europe but previously unavailable in the US and Canada. The free program aims to build a true community of Timberland fans by offering members benefits such as early access to products and special offers, in-store shoe cleaning, free standard shipping, birthday discounts and other perks.
At the SoHo store, the program is enhanced by offering workshops with local business owners and authenticators, styling sessions, city walks and other events. Members can use laser engraving, hot pressing and embroidery for free with every purchase.
Mulder, who joined Timberland two years ago after working for both Nic+Zoe and McKinsey, believes cultivating a community will help Timberland continue to grow its market share. She acknowledged that like most other brands, the company has faced challenges due to supply chain disruptions, but the situation has changed in recent months.
“We’re excited about our trajectory,” she said. “I can say with confidence that Timberland is back with great success.”
Timberland, which has been owned by VF Corp since 2011. located, reported sales of $1.8 billion in fiscal 2022. In the third quarter, it reported a 6 percent increase in revenue to $596 million.
The brand was founded in 1952 as the Abington Shoe Company and their work boot, The Timberland, was launched in 1973. The Pro Workwear brand appeared in 1999.
The new store was designed in collaboration with The Rosie Lee Group.
https://wwd.com/business-news/retail/timberland-global-flagship-soho-new-york-susie-muldar-boots-1235579144/ Timberland opens new global flagship store on Broadway in SoHo – WWD