First Base to open first flagship store
Alison Cotton, founder and designer of First Base, said they tested the market with a pop-up concept store in Bondi Beach over the summer and “the response was overwhelming”.
“We had always planned to open a retail store and have been waiting for the right opportunity to do so,” Cotton said. “We’ve been cautious not to over capitalise too quickly. We feel that this is now the right time for First Base and we have adequate resources in place.”
According to First Base, the sports apparel market is a $3 billion industry with athleisure wear worth $1.5 billion in Australia. It stated that while there is always speculation that retail is doing it tough, brands like them have been strategic in not going too big too fast.
“It’s important that we can support a retail store by providing customers with excellent customer service and an unparalleled in-store experience,” Cotton said. “We have worked really hard over the past two years to craft our place in the sports lifestyle market. We are a brand with a conscious and produce ethically as well as continuing to move towards sustainably as a business, which will continue to be a main focus for the brand.”
First Base recorded a $1.5 million turnover in 2015/16 financial year and is set to exceed this for the 2016/17 financial year. The increase in sales has been attributed to the Bondi summer concept store, the launch of the first 100 per cent certified organic cotton range and an increase in sales across the active wear collections and the growth of the sports and active wear markets.
The company also said it participates annually in the Fashion Revolution movement which focuses on creating transparency within supply chains with their “who made your clothes” campaign. This will be something they will continue to align with.
First Base has a combined social media fan base of over 200,000 where the brand shares product shots and inspirational images.
“It’s a lifestyle brand with a purpose both from an ethical stand point and to enrich the lives of the wearers by knowing that they are contributing to ethical and sustainable fashion and reducing the impact of fashion on the environment. We believe those things are important to people, they are important to us both personally and professionally,” Cotton said.
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