Retail Pulse: Birkenstock Opens Second US Store; Regal Debuts Cinema Subscription


Emerging direct to consumer brands (DTC) are not the only companies entering the world of brick-and-mortar: Birkenstock, whose historical roots date back to the 1700s, recently opened its second retail store in the United States. The Venice Beach, California location follows the opening of the brand’s first company-owned U.S. retail store in New York City last year.

When it comes to innovation, the store is the only place where consumers can access the company’s newest brand extension. Those products range from moisturizers and lip balms. (The store will be the only place where consumers can buy the products in the United States until the selections come to the company’s website, New York store and Nordstrom.) The products have suberin — a cork oak extract — that the company reportedly says aids in the stimulating of cell renewal, reducing redness and moisturizing. They reportedly rolled out in Europe in 2018.

The retail space also is home to a variety of merchandise for women, men and kids such as boots, shoes, socks, bags and belts. It also provides shoppers with a curated selection of designer collaboration styles that are limited edition. The store is said to offer an indoor/outdoor feel that provides the image of a “contemporary beach bungalow with courtyard” per the company. It also incorporates materials like leather as well as cork to make for a “light, bright and naturally comfortable space.”

Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert said in an announcement, “Doing retail as a brand today means entertaining people.” Reichert continued, “Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, California, is for sure the perfect neighborhood to celebrate our global lifestyle brand. It is a vibrant place that not only gives home to an incredibly large collection of global lifestyle brands and trend setting retailers but also celebrates life and showcases a new generation of urban artists.”

Beyond the United States, Birkenstock recently opened a Paris showroom dubbed Birkenstock 1774. According to Fast Company, the location “is a place for Birkenstock to show its special projects and collaborations.” The brand has worked with brands as well as fashion designers in recent times like Valentino, Rick Owens and Opening Ceremony. And the showroom is said to put the brand’s craftsmanship and heritage front and center in parallel to the “historical and artisanal furnishings.”

With brick-and-mortar locations in destinations from Paris to Venice Beach, consumer brands that have roots going back centuries are finding their place in the world of physical retail.

In Other Brick-and-Mortar News

Regal recently announced a paid subscription plan dubbed Regal Unlimited to enable consumers to see a limitless number of movies. The pass is to be available on the company’s mobile app and will let moviegoers choose between three different plans based on theater location. The company said there aren’t any blackout dates, and consumers can buy advance tickets when they go on sale.

Regal Chief Marketing Officer Ken Thewes said in an announcement, “We are excited to debut our Regal Unlimited subscription plan. This is the program moviegoers have been craving — one that is truly unlimited.” Moviegoers can also upgrade their tickets for special formats like ScreenX, 4DX, IMAX, VIP, 3D and RPX “by paying the usual standard upcharge” per the company.

In other news, members of the Nordstrom family want to boost their stake in the department store retailer. Sources told The Wall Street Journal that the family is in early talks to grow their stake to more than 50 percent. One person familiar with the matter said that it might be achieved through a share buyback at a premium per reports. This move follows the family’s 2017 attempt take the company private, offering roughly $8 billion or $50 a share.

On another note, a rising number of real estate owners are turning to eSports lounges, stadiums and arcades to bring new life into facilities such as malls and hotels. Developers are putting tens of millions of dollars toward stadiums for eSports that are home to tournaments for video games. MGM Resorts International, in one case, transformed a former Luxor Hotel & Casino nightclub into an arena for eSports last year.

The 30,000 square feet comes equipped with an LED wall that is 50 feet. In December, it brought in over 4,000 people for a League of Legends tournament. The hotel and casino company is also looking into other ways to host eSports events in existing lounges and bars. And mall owner Simon Property Group said in June that it would be investing $5 million to become an Allied Esports International Inc. shareholder.

To keep tabs on the latest retail trends, check next week’s Retail Pulse.


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