Arc’teryx has launched a new retail store concept called The Icon Store. The first store was opened in Walnut Creek, California, on Nov. 12 with 77 square meters of floor space, inspired “by wood-frame backcountry huts.” The compact store is designed to streamline the shopping experience by showcasing only a curated assortment of the brand’s most popular styles.
In total, five Icon Stores are scheduled to open in the U.S. this year, three in New York City, and two in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Canadian outdoor brand told the Outdoor Industry Compass that the concept will extend to Europe next year, but the location and dates have yet to be confirmed.
The Icon Stores offer flexible selections and purchasing options. A variety of direct to consumer retail services such as Virtual Advisor, Virtual Waitlist, Endless Aisle, same-day courier, curbside pick-up, and Click & Collect, are available, enabling guests to buy and receive their products within 24 to 48 hours.
With their small retail footprint, the Icon Stores are constructed through a virtual design process using three-dimensional modeling technology. With the evolved store size, the brand can maximize real estate opportunities, keep operational overhead costs at a minimum, and expedite the store opening lead time to 3-5 months instead of the usual 9-12 months for a traditional Arc’teryx store. Meanwhile, the virtual design process has the added benefit of eliminating the need for employee travel, allowing Arc’teryx to safely design and build their fleet of Icon Stores at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, while also minimizing their environmental impact.