“We are seeing great engagement and excitement from our local customers, which has encouraged us to continue our expansion plans in the U.S.,” said Catherine Pike, Vuori’s Vice President of Retail.
Vuori now operates 40 stores around the globe, with new markets in Texas, Chicago, Maryland, Washington D.C., and London.
“Community is an important pillar of Vuori. When opening in new markets, we look to our existing engaged community in these locations, while considering the ways in which we can introduce the brand to new local customers in the market,” Pike said.
The company launched with an initiative to only sell its products in fitness studios, and then transitioned to a sole direct-to-consumer model. From there, they realized the true power behind standalone stores and the ability to represent their brand in a community-centered space.
“Many brands use their own retail stores more as a marketing tool, and less as a commerce tool. They want to be places where people are going to see the product. One of the big challenges for DTC brands is customer acquisition. It’s hard to get a new customer to come to you unless you’ve got really strong word of mouth or social media marketing. So having stores is another way to get people to learn about your brand and become a fan, and also allows you to have a deeper relationship with your current customer,” said Matt Powell, adviser at Spurwink River.
In addition to brick-and-mortar stores, Vuori has steadily built its wholesale partnerships to expand their product reach. They now sell in stores such as Nordstrom and REI and fitness studios like Equinox. Wholesale has also allowed the company to introduce the brand to a more niche customer base and then continue to connect with that consumer down the line at their own brick-and-mortar stores.
The pandemic had heightened the need and want for activewear brands. And now, it’s all about staying ahead in a saturated market. Vuori has differentiated themselves with their storytelling and quality.
“Moving into the back half of the year we have some exciting new products that will be launching, with a focus on innovative new fabrics that we can’t wait to introduce to our community as well as expanding in some new exciting categories,” Kudla said.