Will Leather Goods will set up a 500-square-foot boxcar shop in its hometown of Eugene, Ore., this May.
“Part of the theory of Will Leather Goods is to keep remixing and reusing materials. I thought it would be cool to carry that over to a store,” said William Adler, Will Leather Goods’ founder and chief executive officer.
Located on the east side of The Fifth Street Public Market shopping center, the vintage freight car is from the Union Pacific Railroad. Adler and Back Forty Woods, a Eugene-based design studio, will create a lodge-inspired environment with Douglas Fir wood panels lining the interior, and selvage wood beams to separate product categories. The store will feature the boxcar’s original wood plank floors and galvanized steel ceiling. Adler is implementing tech into the space by using iPads for shoppers to view content about product and the brand’s history.
The permanent concept shop, which Adler is also likening to a museum, will carry men’s and women’s handbags and accessories from the core collection and a limited-edition line of four tote bags that detail the history of the brand, Eugene, the University of Oregon and the Union Pacific Railroad.
Adler, who operates five stores in Portland, Ore.; Venice, Calif., and New York City, wanted to open in Eugene after establishing a presence on both coasts.
“We didn’t know if the market was big enough when we first started the store. But I wanted to take care of our hometown people who have been supportive of the brand,” said Adler, who expects store traffic from Eugene residents in addition to students and visitors of the University of Oregon, which is about a mile away.
Over the next three years, Adler plans on opening an additional eight stores in various locations including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Texas and a unit in conjunction with a prominent Tokyo retailer.
This opening also ties into the brand’s Give Will charity, which will partner with Eugene schools and donate backpacks to disadvantaged students.