Physical SpacesAugust 27, 2019

The North Face Brings Brand to Life

Outdoor Retailer Unveils New Experience-Focused Strategy

By RAHMA HASSAN | Contributing Writer‍

The North Face showcased its playful side at a new store in SoHo Manhattan earlier this month.

The company unveiled its new global strategy starting with the SoHo store, which opened Aug. 9, as the first taste of planned renovations at all The North Face stores transforming them into “basecamps for exploration.” 

The 8,000-square-foot SoHo location features brand memorabilia from past athlete expeditions, scents from Yosemite to “instantly transport customers to the outdoors,” and a team of “guides” to help customers with their next outdoor adventure.

“Our stores will continue to offer a convenient and seamless shopping experience, but it is no longer the sole mission of the store,” said Mark Parker, vice president of direct to consumer, in a company statement. “We’re now focused on creating an environment that highlights our heritage and allows consumers to deeply connect with the brand as they prepare for their own exploration, wherever it may be.”  

The North Face is working on renovating their stores in Seattle and Cherry Hill, NJ which should be completed in “the coming weeks,” according to the statement. Other stores in Europe are slated to be completed this fall. The outdoor and winter wear retailer also plans to renovate the rest of their stores, in the U.S. and overseas, by the end of 2024. 

 

Indoor campground | Photos courtesy of The North Face

 

To highlight its efforts toward sustainability, The North Face is using environmentally friendly paints as well as FSC certified reclaimed wood, steel and granite. 

In a recent interview with RETHINK Retail, Dan Goldman, the global head of strategy at The North Face, revealed that sustainability is a critical part of the brand’s identity. 

“Protecting wild lands has always been a core part of our brand purpose and values,” Goldman said. 

Customers going into the new store and renovated stores will be able to experience the brand and its products in much more meaningful ways. They can see for themselves the retailer’s efforts toward sustainability, including clothing made out of recycled material and single use plastic. 

During his interview with RETHINK, Goldman spoke about a new platform of products that The North Face is planning to roll out in stores this fall, FutureLight, a breathable waterproof outerwear designed to be more breathable than other waterproof options in the market. 

“The North Face has always been at the forefront of innovation and disruption in our industry,” Goldman said. “We’re very excited about our latest innovation … [FutureLight] is going to help reinvent the waterproof breathable outerwear category.