Allbirds to start selling its shoes in select Nordstrom department stores

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  • Starting June 1, a selection of Allbirds shoes, including its signature wool sneakers, will be available for sale in 14 Nordstrom locations.
  • This assortment will expand to Nordstrom’s website and additional stores later this year.
  • The move is part of Allbirds’ effort to win new customers and become profitable.
  • It also helps give Nordstrom an edge as the partner of choice for new companies looking to test bulk water.

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Allbirds will begin selling its shoes in select Nordstrom department stores next month, the companies announced Tuesday, as the sneaker brand seeks alliances with other retailers to expand its reach and post profits.

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Starting June 1, a selection of Allbirds shoes, including the company’s signature wool sneakers, will be available for sale in 14 Nordstrom locations.
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The companies said the assortment will expand to Nordstrom’s website and additional stores later this year.

For Allbirds, the move is a chance to win over new customers and become profitable. It also marks a widespread trend among retailers such as Allbirds and Warby Parker, which began exclusively by selling products directly to consumers online.

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Increasingly, such direct-to-consumer companies — including Casper mattresses, Harry’s razors and athletic apparel manufacturers Woori and Outdoor Voices — have expanded to sell through third parties. Others have pushed for opening dozens of brick-and-mortar stores to connect with shoppers in person. The move has created new businesses similar to long-standing retailers such as Nike or Ralph Lauren.

The deal helps Nordstrom build its reputation as the partner of choice for new retailers looking to test the bulk of the waters. This helps give the department store company an edge over rivals like Macy’s and Kohl’s, which can attract shoppers.

Earlier this month, Allbirds announced its first two retail partners: Public Lands, the Dix Sporting Goods banner in the United States, and Zalando in Europe. It teased at the time that more deals were in the works.

Selling through other retailers should help Allbirds reach consumers who might not otherwise be aware of the brand, Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO Joy Zwillinger said in a post-earnings conference call in mid-May. But said.

In particular, the company hopes to attract environmentally conscious buyers. In 2020, Allbirds Committed to halving its carbon footprint by 2025, In addition to labeling all of its products with a carbon footprint score, the company said it sources natural ingredients found in trees and sugarcane fields and works to cut back on waste.

According to Zwillinger, Allbirds’ brand awareness in the US is still in the low double digits out of 100%. “Third-party retail” can be a highly effective way to build awareness and increase credibility, he said on the call.

Allbirds expects the move to help boost investor confidence. The company’s shares closed Monday at $4.68, down from an IPO price of $15. Allbirds listed on the Nasdaq exchange last November, before closing the window for a public debut amid rising inflation and Russia’s war on Ukraine.

In the three-month period ended March 31, Allbirds’ net loss widened to $21.9 million from a loss of $13.5 million a year earlier. Even its sales rose 26% to $62.8 million, which is more than $49.6 billion.

Allbirds also dialed back its outlook for the year, citing continued disruption to its business overseas due to the ongoing Covid-related lockdown in China and the war in Ukraine.

This isn’t the first time the Allbirds and Nordstrom have teamed up. In 2018, Allbirds opened at Nordstrom’s rotating pop-up exhibit, marking the sneaker company’s first trial with another retail partner. Nordstrom has worked with other online-first brands, including Kim Kardashian’s Skims line and On Running.

Zwillinger said on the conference call that Allbirds plans to be selective about how it grows its third-party business. He added that the company does not expect to see a material impact on its financials in 2022, but the partnership should become a catalyst for new business by next year.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Simeon Siegel cites Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein owner PVH as businesses that have successfully used the approach, citing those using wholesale to build a profitable business with strong gross margins. has been a proponent of retailers.

“Companies adopt wholesale and build very healthy and very large businesses,” Siegel said in an interview. “You shouldn’t turn away from bulk altogether and write off bulk as bad.”

It is when companies push too much in bulk and use excessive discounts and vague messaging that they can ruin their reputation, he said.

Nordstrom is set to report its fiscal first-quarter results after the market closes on Tuesday.

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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