Birdies partnered with Leap to open its new store in Los Angeles.
A company that aims to make physical retail less risky and more productive for brands, especially those new to brick and mortar, is in the fast track for expansion.
Leap said it expects 50 physical stores to be open using its platform by the end of this year and 250 by the end of 2022 — an additional 400% growth. The company offers a full-service platform that covers the entire life cycle of a brand’s brick-and-mortar venture, including staffing, store design, tech integration and day-to-day operations. It also owns the leases for the stores.
Leap currently operates stores across New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Scottsdale and southern Florida. Among the brands using Leap to grow their retail footprint are Birdies, Mack Weldon, Goodlife, Faherty, Public Rec, UpWest, Pact, Vincero, Naadam and Something Navy.
“Stores are core to our strategy for building our brands and driving overall growth,” said Matt Scanlan, CEO of apparel and home retailers Naadam and Something Navy. “But developing and managing the complex infrastructure required for physical retail isn’t where we want to invest. By leveraging the Leap platform for stores, we can scale more rapidly with more flexibility and less risk, all while focusing on what we want to be best in the world at – creating awesome products and deepening connections with our customers.”
Added Marisa Sharkey, co-founder and president of footwear brand Birdies, “it’s vital to meet customers where they are, whether that’s online, on social media, or in stores.”
“Leap enables us to reach new customers, capture real world insights and connect more deeply with our customers in premium locations like Abbot Kinney Boulevard in LA,” she said.
Leap’s business model includes signing leases directly with landlord partners across street, mall and other prime retail locations. In so doing, it takes away a significant risk from brands, while also driving benefits for landlords.
“We’re excited to work with Leap to bring new brands to our portfolio,” said Gabrielle (Aaron) Licht, leasing manager at Macerich. “Their data-driven platform brings value to our partnership by helping brands access the strong demographics at our centers that mirror those of their online shoppers, which sets these brands up for success with us.”
“Brands are looking to grow via fully immersive retail stores to build their brand and acquire customers without traditional risks, barriers to entry and liabilities.” said Amish Tolia, co-founder and co-CEO, Leap. “Our platform approach is the future of retail. Qualified brands are now able to scale their physical retail strategy without having to outlay significant upfront capital or dedicate internal resources to real estate, leases, store design, staffing or technology.”