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Esprit continues U.S. retail comeback

Esprit is doubling down on its return to brick-and-mortar in the United States.
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Esprit is doubling down on its return to brick-and-mortar in the United States. 

Following the brand's reintroduction to North America with the opening of a long-term pop-up in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, the fashion brand has opened a summer pop-up at The Grove in Los Angeles. The 2,360-sq.-ft. store is designed  allow shoppers to fully immerse themselves in Esprit’s “playful, modern, and cool attitude,” the company said.

Esprit, a brand that defined California cool in the late 1980s and 1990s before losing momentum, closed all its U.S. stores more than 10 years ago.  The new pop-ups are part of the company’s North American expansion plans, which will continue through this year and into 2024. Additional pop-ups in key markets are in the works, and permanent retail locations are planned to open in New York CityLos Angeles, and Vancouver later in the year.

The new pop-up at The Grove taps into the the brand’s innovative approach to style. Its "rules don't apply" promise is reflected in the store's graffiti logo-covered walls, staying true to the brand's legacy while reflecting a reinvented aesthetic.

“We opened this pop up at The Grove to revisit Esprit's roots as a West Coast-founded brand while building our North American retail presence,” said Esprit CEO William Park. “The product lineup merges its original California-cool aesthetic with the new modern, aspirational direction that Esprit is headed.”

Esprit was founded in 1969 by Doug and Susie Tompkins (who previously founded The North Face) and Jane Tise. In 1996, they sold their interest to their Hong Kong partner and the company’s headquarters moved from San Francisco to overseas.  

Esprit is set to officially relaunch globally in fall 2023 with a new collection that is focused on modernizing the brand’s heritage and values for today's consumer. According to a report by WWD, Espirt is aiming to regain relevance with a  “more modern, urbane, practical approach and multigenerational appeal.”  The bulk of the collection is priced $300 to $1,000, but some items are priced as low as $30, the report said.

Esprit has a presence in more than 30 markets around the world and has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1993.  Design and creative is led out of New York as the brand's global creative hub.  Amsterdam supports the network with its focus on technology and denim innovation, while Hong Kong remains as the global administrative headquarters.


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