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Icebreaker continues expansion in key markets

Icebreaker continues expansion in key markets

Iconic Kiwi label experiences retail growth in both US and NZ

15 December 2010

Leading New Zealand merino label Icebreaker continues to make its mark on the world stage with the opening of new TouchLab retail stores in New York and Auckland.

Icebreaker has now launched six TouchLab’s world-wide. Jeremy Moon, Icebreaker’s founder and CEO, says their retail business has been a major and ongoing focus for the past few years.

“We needed a big challenge to freak ourselves out so we can raise the bar. That’s why we decided to open a flagship store in SoHo, New York. It was all about risk and challenge. The creativity that sparked off has blossomed into a brand new retail experience,” says Jeremy.

The location of the 2,500 square-foot SoHo TouchLab was chosen due to the rapid adoption of Icebreaker by New Yorkers through the company’s online business and US-based retailers Paragon and Eastern Mountain Sports.

Jeremy says they were also attracted to the area due to its nature as a hub for other outdoor retailers, including Patagonia and The North Face, making it the perfect home for Icebreaker’s third TouchLab in North America.

“To win customers from the world’s biggest brands, we don’t have to be big – we just have to be fresh and edgy.

“Our TouchLab allows us to showcase our freshest designs with savvy SoHo residents and visitors who are known connoisseurs of top-quality apparel,” he adds.

The store was designed by Icebreaker in collaboration with Adrian Nancekivell Design, New Zealand with Joseph Tarella from SawickiTarella Architecture & Design NYC. Icebreaker’s Design Director, Fred L’Ami says the store’s layout and design inspiration was a labour of love.

“We’ve created key zones in our TouchLabs to reflect the customer journey. It starts with the Tactile Gallery, which is totally dedicated to getting people to touch the fabric. The “O” in the “TouchLab” logo has wool in it, so consumers can run their fingers through it and experience for themselves how incredible it feels,” says Fred.

The company’s retail expansion is also enjoying growth closer to home with Icebreaker setting up shop this month on Auckland’s Queen Street and in Auckland’s International Airport.

It was a natural progression to extend its Auckland presence from Newmarket to the city centre. Attractive to locals and Auckland’s visitors, the new locations were carefully chosen to help make the label’s full range more accessible to the urban consumer as well provide an opportunity to tap into the tourist market.

Committed to sustainability, ethical manufacturing and animal welfare, Icebreaker’s brand story is one that resonates around the world and contributes to its growing popularity.

There are plans to open 50 retail stores around the world in the next three to four years including a Touch Lab in Vancouver next year. This expansion will allow Icebreaker to continue spreading the word directly about the wonders of New Zealand merino as the ultimate performance fibre.

Icebreaker is already sold in more than 2,000 stores in 37 countries and is the leading outdoor merino product in Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America.


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