Birkenstock is once again expanding its footprint, this week opening of a location in Venice Beach, Calif. It is the second company-owned store for the brand; the first opened in New York in 2018.
The store is located on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, the Venice community’s legendary mile-long strip known for its eclectic boutiques, eateries and galleries.
While the coasts represent the country’s major populations, Venice was selected for its diverse offering of products and cuisines. “I lived on the East Coast and I used to fly in, land in LAX, rent a car and drive straight here and eat lunch on Abbot Kinney,” said David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock Americas. “I’d think how cool it would be to have a store on Abbot Kinney. And now we’re here.”
Venice Beach was a natural fit for the store, said Kahan, “Birkenstock is all about creativity, individuality, and that’s what this neighborhood is. It’s stylish, it’s fashion, it’s surf, it’s skate, it’s lifestyle.” Kahan said Venice Beach, like Birkenstock, has no demographic. “People who get the vibe of the brand get it. People have said to me, ‘Haven’t you been here forever? We’ve been here four days.”
Although the same iconic product is available at its New York SoHo and Venice Beach locations, each store’s design reflects the surrounding area. “SoHo is amazing, but any time we do a store, it’s not going to be cookie cutter,” said Kahan. “What I like to say is, the world does not need just another shoe store. What the world needs is a unique brand experience. Every place we do a store, it’s going to be the DNA of Birkenstock, but it’s going to tie to the DNA of the neighborhood. SoHo is obviously an elevated taste level. The stores in the area are going to be Jimmy Choo, Chanel. Here, it’s much more laid-back. It’s surfy — we’ve got a cork surfboard on the ceiling.”
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