Posts tagged with "Soho"

Allbirds perches in New York City and plans more stores nationwide

September 5, 2018

The newest product to come out of Silicon Valley needs no tech support—but it’s supporting the feet of such well-known techies as Google Co-founder Larry Page, former Twitter chief Dick Costolo, and venture capitalists Ben Horowitz and Mary Meeker, according to a September 4 report by CNBC.

Called Allbirds, the new brand of footwear—produced with such sustainable resources as merino wool, tree fibers, and sugar— already has won over customers on the West Coast and is expanding fast. The company opened its first store on the East Coast, in New York City, just after Labor Day.

At more than 4,800 square feet, the new flagship location in New York’s SoHo neighborhood on Spring Street will include a “service bar” to help buyers find the right size, along with room for customers to lounge. It will replace its temporary home on Prince Street, which was about 900 square feet and is closing later this week.

Like the wildly popular Warby Parker (eyeglasses), Casper (mattresses), and  Everlane (clothing), Allbirds began business as an etailer.

The company only recently began opening stores, serving as a place for shoppers to try on the sneakers before buying and helping create more buzz around the brand. The company has since launched a new sneaker made out of tree fibers and flip-flops made out of sugar, along with a kids’ line called Smallbirds.

Indeed, the brand has become so buzzworthy that, last month, actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio became an investor, People magazine reported.

Creating sustainable consumer products requires a deep commitment from brands that understand the role they have in helping solve our environmental crisis,” DiCaprio said in an exclusive statement. “Allbirds is on the forefront of developing new materials that will serve as a model for the footwear industry. This kind of innovation is crucial for creating a more sustainable future. I am proud to join the company as an investor.”

“Given how tactile our product and brand story is, it’s important that we continue to create these opportunities to interact with customers,” Allbirds Co-founder Joey Zwillinger said. “Our goal is to continue to create retail spaces that allow customers to truly engage with the brand in an authentic off-line experience that embodies Allbirds’ unique comfort and thoughtful design.”

Allbirds plans to open eight more stores in the United States in locations including Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles,  and Washington, D.C. The company also said it’s thinking about adding two locations overseas.

“There is and has been incredible pent-up demand for Allbirds around the world,” Zwillinger told CNBC. “When we launched the brand, we were thoughtful to keep our distribution limited to the regions we felt we could service impeccably — the United States  and New Zealand, our home countries.”

Since then, Allbirds has grown into Australia and Canada.

Research contact: lauren.thomas@nbcuni.com

WeWork is now second-biggest private office tenant in Manhattan

June 19, 2018

Eight years after opening its first co-working space in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, WeWork is now the second-biggest private office tenant in Manhattan, Recode reports. The company—which provides in-demand shared workspaces and services for freelancers, startups, and small businesses—now has 50 locations in the Big Apple; and five locations in SoHo, alone.

In fourth place just last year, WeWork is second only at this point to financial services company JPMorgan Chase, according to data from the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Indeed, if WeWork were to lease another 407,356 square feet—roughly eight more average-size locations — it would be the biggest private office tenant in Manhattan, Recode reckons.

In 2017, WeWork opened ten new locations in the city and already another five are anticipated to open this year. Thanks in part to a $4.4 billion infusion from SoftBank’s Vision Fund in August 2017, the company expects 2018 to be its biggest growth year yet, according to the Recode report—estimating an addition of more than 750,000 square feet of office space in New York City.

WeWork currently has 2.9 million square feet of open office space across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, half of which was opened in the past two years. That’s enough to house the current 45,000 members.

Each location has a standard set of amenities and perks—beer and microbrew coffee on tap and large, open common spaces — but not all New York WeWorks are created equal. The South Williamsburg location, popular with freelance artists, has a photo studio members can use for shoots, and the Hudson Square location is building an indoor garden. A number of New York City locations also now include workout equipment.

WeWork says its New York City locations are, on average, 90% occupied. Several—including those in the Meatpacking District, Chelsea and Bryant Park—are at 100% membership and have wait lists, suggesting there’s still demand to grow its NYC capacity even more.

According to Recode, companies with more than 1,000 employees are WeWork’s fastest-growing segment, often renting overflow or satellite spaces from WeWork. These enterprise clients now make up about 15% of WeWork’s New York City membership, up from virtually zero a few years ago.

New York, which comprises 20% of WeWork’s 13 million square foot global footprint, also has become a test area for WeWork’s other businesses. These include a “co-living space” called WeLive that rents around 200 fully furnished apartments, which feels like a fancy dorm for grown-ups, with Pac-Man machines in the laundry room and a shared rooftop hot tub; and a gym called RisebyWe that’s a subterranean oasis, complete with a mineral bath, “semi-private” training, and an Astroturf gym.

Research contact: Rani.Molla@Recode.net