Premium denim brand Current/Elliott was hardly a wallflower when it came to picking the location for its first store.
The brand tapped one of the most high-profile streets in Abbot Kinney Boulevard for its shop, which measures just under 2,000 square feet and is set to open today.
“It’s somewhat overdue,” said Dutch LLC chief executive officer Jack Schwefel. “As the brand has grown, it was always the aspiration to open retail stores, but we just never found the right time or place. We’re at a place now where we can focus on it. We have a very broad product assortment. The brand is clearly looked at now as a lifestyle brand, not just denim.”
Abbot Kinney made sense for international appeal as Current/Elliott global sales continue to be strong, Schwefel added of the location.
The company had originally scouted out the locale as a store for Joie, one of the other brands in the Dutch portfolio. It dawned on executives that it would make sense as a place for Current/Elliott to test the waters before opening more doors, Schwefel said.
“We have the luxury of being able to use this store as a playground or lab before committing to anything else,” he said. “We make over 90 percent of our product in the U.S., mostly in L.A. I think [the store] will be extremely, extremely successful. I’m in no hurry to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to run out and open 15 stores in the next few years.'”
Still, there are obvious markets the company’s looking at for future store growth for the brand. New York is one, along with San Francisco.
The privately held company doesn’t disclose sales, but Schwefel said it’s projecting to be up in the double digits. That’s on par with what the company has been doing for the past three years.
As for the rest of the brand portfolio, most of the rest of the store growth is rooted in the Joie side of the business.
The brand recently opened doors in Scottsdale, Boston and Palo Alto.
“It’s a brand that’s ready to open more stores,” Schwefel said, “and clearly there’s an appetite for it.
The Current/Elliott store joins an existing 13 doors for Joie and two for Equipment. Store growth for the latter brand will eventually come, although the company is waiting to build out its product assortment, Schwefel said.
“Equipment store growth will definitely happen over the next couple years, although nothing this year and that’s really been a function of letting the product develop,” he said. “We’ve already been established as a credible destination for the blouse. It’s much easier to be a retailer when you have a product assortment.”