LAIRD Opens First Brick-and-Mortar Store in Southern California
Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles talking about LAIRD Apparel and its roots in fitness lifestyle. Last time we discussed the launch of a women’s line, GABBY. This time, we’re talking with CEO Jennifer Arrache about the company’s next growth step: opening a brick-and-mortar retail location in Southern California.
Wow, it’s a big step to add your own retail. Let’s start by talking about why you decided to open your first brick and mortar store.
LAIRD Apparel CEO Jennifer Arrache: Our direct-to-consumer channel has been an exciting opportunity to connect with people around the country. However, we were eager to engage with our customers on a more intimate level, as well. To meet them face-to-face. To tell and hear stories. To build a location where our athletes, friends, and neighbors could congregate. While we are building an apparel brand, we are also building a community.
What Laird and Gabby assortments will consumers find there? Will you test products here before releasing them for distribution?
Jennifer Arrache: All products will be released in the store to start. While I don’t expect products to be tested in the store per se, we will certainly enjoy the real-time customer feedback. I am also really looking forward to seeing customers engage with the products, to tell them more about each of the items and why we chose them for the LAIRD collection.
You see the store as a fitness community center. How will that play out for consumers?
Jennifer Arrache: This is the part I am most excited about. We have been so fortunate to build a brand that has drawn inspiring athletes and adventurers from around the world. From professional volleyball players to surfers to martial artists to lifeguards to rugby players. We will now have a clubhouse of sorts for them to congregate and share their projects and their passion for fitness and adventure.
Why did you select Manhattan Beach for your first store?
Jennifer Arrache As a fourth-generation Angeleno, I love Southern California. I am particularly drawn to Manhattan Beach as it represents many of the things we stand for: enthusiasm for outdoor activity, passion for sport and surf, and a strong sense of community. The downtown area of Manhattan Beach is particularly appealing due to the walkability, the proximity to the pier and great food and shopping options.
Last time we touched on the future of the company, so we have to ask: will there be more Laird retail locations?
Jennifer Arrache: Only time will tell. But, we are certainly exploring opportunities around the country. Wherever there is passion for adventure, there is a space for LAIRD.
Click here to learn more about Laird Apparel and the story behind the brand.