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Birkenstock opens company-owned store in New York

Footwear brand Birkenstock has opened its first company-owned store in the US, and its 47th globally, with a store on Spring Street in New York City. The German brand has been distributed in the US for more than 50 years, and has a heritage dating back for 240 years.

It has been increasing the number of stores it runs in-house, rather than as franchises, in recent years.

TPG Architecture was appointed to design the New York store, and to bring the brand to life in lower Manhattan with a new a direction in store format.  The store is housed in a landmark building constructed in 1920, and provides 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft) of retail space from total space of 214 sq m (2,303 sq ft).

Design features include a heritage wall, a craftsman’s workbench and a large scale concrete footbed. The interior features materials used in the construction of Birkenstock’s distinctive sandals, including cork, leather and felt, to create a comfortable atmosphere with a natural feel.

Customers enter through a two storey foyer, with a floor-to-ceiling installation formed of cork, mirror cubes and lightboxes to showcase new products. The brand’s iconic outsole pattern is used as a large format screen that bridges the upper and lower floors.

The upper level lounge features limited edition designer collaborations, including a store exclusive Arizona sandal. To celebrate the store opening, the brand commissioned a campaign from creative director and artist Amit Greenberg, featuring puppets that are brought to life to have adventures in New York in their Birkenstocks.

“It is an important part of our ambition to open our own retail stores in strategic locations and vibrant neighbourhoods. New York is a key market for us. Thanks to the dedication of our retail partners in the U.S., our brand has been around here for decades,” says Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert. “The opening of our own retail store in New York is also a bow to one of the few remaining fashion capitals in the world that shapes global cultural and consumer trends. Being here will keep our brand vivid and will also create visibility for all the innovations in our collection towards a group of enlightened, highly influential consumers.”

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