Allbirds takes a localized approach to the pop-up model

Eco-friendly footwear brand Allbirds is debuting a string of local pop-ups, with its latest at Grand Central Market in Los Angeles. The company  partners with local companies — in the case of Los Angeles, Wexler’s Deli, P.F. Candle Co. and Boyce Studio — to remake their own signature products with Allbirds-inspired details.

The Allbirds x Boyce Studio custom shoe and planter

Wexler’s, for instance, will be serving New Zealand Ōra King salmon cured with Maori bush herbs and smoked over Manuka wood, as a nod to Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown’s New Zealand roots. The sneakers themselves are all slip-on, made in varying shades of gray merino wool — but feature a different colored sole for each partner.

“It’s a celebration of beloved local businesses who care about making better things in a better way as deeply as we do,” said Julie Channing, the company’s vp of marketing. “It’s about bringing together communities of people who appreciate the beauty and quality of premium natural ingredients, and honoring the infectious energy and endless possibility of the cities we visit.”

Outside Allbirds’ first permanent retail store in San Francisco

“It’s a great way for us to learn how much appetite there is for Allbirds retail before fully committing to a city or neighborhood,” said Channing.

Allbirds does not provide sales figures, but said it has seen significant gains from the pop-up series. When it kicked off the program last July in San Francisco, it sold out of all three versions of the limited-edition shoes in under three weeks. This February — during the month-long run of its home-away-from-home pop-up in Wellington — the company saw a 65 percent increase in sales in that city, compared to the rest of New Zealand.


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