Amid Pandemic, Allbirds Doubles Down on Omnichannel Retail

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Sustainable shoe startup Allbirds sees omnichannel Brick-and-Mortar 2.0 as the future of retail in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A “cautious but optimistic approach”

During NRF 2021: Retail’s Big Show event hosted by the National Retail Foundation, Allbird’s head of global retail operations Travis Boyce said that, amid the retail challenges off COVID-19, the company will engage in a “cautious but optimistic approach” to opening new brick-and-mortar retail.

Their physical stores will anchor the retailer’s presence and visibility around the United States and contribute to their ability to deliver value to, and host events in, local communities.

According to NRF:

COVID-19, Boyce said, has accelerated his company’s desire to be more of an omnichannel retailer, thinking about the customer more holistically. Previously, it had been focused on an amazing in-store experience. “I don’t think we wanted to learn how to sprint before we learned how to crawl.”

How next-gen tech solves today’s challenges while shaping tomorrow’s store, National Retail Federation

About Allbirds

Founded as a Certified B-Corporation by New Zealander Tim Brown, online fashion startup Allbirds started with a focus on sustainably-produced and super-comfortable shoes constructed from merino wool.

(They have since expanded their stock to running shoes and apparel, and are an excellent example of a trending online sneaker brand for men.)

Allbirds had already been using Shopify’s point of sale system to integrate brick-and-mortar and online retail channels.

Doubling down on omnichannel retail and Brick and Mortar 2.0

In 2021, the brand seems poised to double-down on delivering an integrated experience for customers who might wish to shop online and pick up in store or shop in store but order remotely-stocked inventory shipped to their home.

This approach to building a Brick and Mortar 2.0 presence aims to serve the more than than 70% of consumers who prefer to purchase apparel in person.

According to Boyce, Allbirds will continue to improve its ability to accurately view its inventory across retail channels and other enhancements to improve the retail experience.


About Jake

Jake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age.  Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.

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