Iconic footwear label steps into pricey first store

dr-martensIconic British footwear brand Dr. Martens is launching its first Australian retail store at Westfield Shopping Centre in Sydney’s Pitt Street mall next week, with plans to launch an e-commerce platform at the same time.

The legendary boot was initially designed by a German doctor and was initially worn by workers in the UK, including postmen and policemen, only to be later adopted by musicians, punks and youth cultures and was seen as a sign of rebellion during the 1980s.

Dr. Martens is locally operated by Accent Group – formerly RCG Corporation – which is currently in the process of transforming itself from an investment holding company into a regional leader in the performance and lifestyle footwear segment.

“We expect this first store to provide a pinnacle expression point for the Dr. Martens brand not seen before in this market, allowing our Australian consumers to experience the full breadth of product and storytelling from the brand,” David Dullens, Accent Group marketing manager brands told IRW.

When asked if we could see more stores across the country, Dullens said the heritage British label’s immediate expansion plans were focused on the launch of its dedicated brand and e-commerce platform to showcase its products to all Australian consumers.

Dullens said the brand has grown from its working class beginnings to become a global footwear brand.

“Where we differ from other brands is that we’ve been shaped by our consumers who we’ve empowered to give us our identity,” he said. “We’re worn as a symbol of rebellious self-expression by individuals from all walks of life.”

The Dr. Martens store and website will offer the largest range of men’s, women’s and kids’ styles available in Australia including Originals, Made in England, DMS Lites, Collaborations, Vegan and accessories collections.

Dullens said both brand heritage and authenticity are important elements in today’s marketplace, as they represent a window into what brands stand for.

“By rigorously upholding our design principles, rich social heritage, people diversity and non-conformist attitude, Dr. Martens continues to celebrate a heritage born out of industry and utility.”

The brand’s first Aussie offering will be at the pricey location of Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall, which maintained its ranking as the seventh most expensive retail street in the world, according to a recent research from Cushman & Wakefield.

Australia retained its position as the world’s seventh most expensive country in which to rent space on a retail shopping strip. Local rents cost on average US$1,000 per square foot, compared to the world’s most expensive location of Upper 5th Avenue in New York at US$3,000 per square foot.

Meanwhile, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, spending in the clothing, footwear and personal accessories segment fell 0.4 per cent over the holidays and by 0.39 per cent year-on-year.

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