Bandier is making its West Coast debut with its biggest store yet. The women’s activewear retailer officially launched its first Los Angeles location today.
With six stores in New York and one in Texas, it was time for Bandier to make its move to California after seeing 20% of online sales coming directly from the state.
“It was a natural progression for us to open in L.A. and join forces with the wellness movement,” co-founder Jennifer Bandier told FN. “It’s the first time we are going to house everything in one roof.”
This 8,800-square-foot space is located on Melrose Avenue and comprises three floors, with its second floor dedicated to footwear, as the category makes up a large part of the business. Top brand partners include Nike, Adidas, Golden Goose and more. The store will also offer original product, exclusives and collaborations.
Along with a shoe and apparel destination, the store features a cafe, fitness studio, courtyard atrium and events space, which will house monthly activations.
Since launching in New York’s Southhampton in 2014, Bandier has garnered a successful following due to its fashion-focused curation of activewear and experiential elements.
“I remember when we first opened. I was nervous. We had 10,000 items in our house, and I was ticketing them, thinking: ‘I hope someone comes,'” Bandier said. “A lot of business is timing. This was a precursor to the athleisure [movement]. The time was right. We got lucky.”
Studio B, the company’s fitness space, made its debut in 2016 at New York’s Fifth Avenue flagship and helped turned Bandier from a shopping destination into a community for consumers.
“It was a smart real estate decision. We had extra space in the store, and we thought about using it for a studio,” she added. “It was about bringing together like-minded people. I always say there’s a class before the class, and the class after where you want to talk. You want to hang around those people.”
The Los-Angeles outpost will also house Studio B, offering varying workout classes.
According to Bandier, 50% of sales come from in-store and the other half online. In February, the company secured $25 million form Eurazeo Brands in exchange for a minority stake in the business, bringing Bandier’s total capital for the round to $34.4 million, which also included backing from venture capital firm C Ventures. And the firm is looking to keep its retail expansion disciplined. To test markets, Bandier said there are plans to open pop-ups across the country, like in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
She said, “I’m not looking to open a million more stores. We want to launch in key cities where we have a customer base.”
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