Shoes of Prey has opened its first standalone store at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney.
The 20sqm kiosk is located on level three in the fashion precinct of the centre in front of the Zimmerman, Mecca, and Lover stores.
In addition to its custom shoe designing website, a Shoes of Prey concession trades from David Jones’ Elizabeth St Sydney store, with a concession in US department store, Nordstrom, opened last month – the first in the US and second globally.Another five Nordstrom concessions will open between February and April next year.
“Since our early experiments with a physical store at David Jones in early 2013, we have been really excited by what the combination of physical and online retail has delivered to our business,” Shoes of Prey co-founder, Jodie Fox said.
“Shoppers increasingly want to engage with retailers in a variety of different ways and we want to make sure we are offering our customers an inspiring experience across all channels.”
Created by Sydney-based agency, The General Store, Shoes of Prey Bondi Junction is based on a similar design concept to its David Jones concession, with the space built almost entirely from components used to make shoes.
“Innovation is at the heart of our business, so when we developed our store design concept we didn’t want to copy other concepts from overseas or follow any trends in retail design. The General Store were the perfect partners for us. They are highly original thinkers who brought strong consumer insights and incredible retail flair,” says Fox.
According to Matt Newell, strategy partner at The General Store, the thinking behind the Westfield store is very much an evolution on the original concept.
“We developed the big idea back in 2013, so now we are focused on refinement and obsessing over the details.In this store, we have increased the scale and intricacy of the 2.5m shoe- flower sculpture so that it makes a bigger statement in the space. And we have introduced a vertical flower feature wall that showcases the beauty of Shoes of Prey’s leathers,” said Newell.
“Kiosk concepts are good for passing traffic but they are quite challenging for high levels of dwell time. So we have worked hard to create an immersive experience by using cocooning design lines, a custom sound track, a custom scent, and soft leather finishes to envelope the customer in the design experience.”
Last week, Shoes of Prey announced it had secured US$5.5 million in funding. The capital raising was led by San Fransico-based, Khosla Ventures, with the money to be spent on scaling up the company’s on demand manufacturing facility as well as the US market.
Existing investors who also contributed in this round include Blackbird Ventures; Mike Cannon Brookes, co-founder and co-CEO of Atlassian; and Bill Tai, Southern Cross Ventures Partners.
Shoes of Prey was launched in 2010 and broke even after just two months. It hit multi-million dollar revenue in under two years and has grown to 75 staff in six offices globally – Tokyo, China, Manila, New York, Seattle, and Sydney.
This year alone Shoes of Prey has sold 50 per cent more shoes than the year prior, and to date women have designed 4 million shoes.
To support growing demand, the company vertically integrated in 2013, opening it’s first dedicated factory, and is now gearing up to open its second facility with five times the capacity of the first.