Solid & Striped is moving to West Palm Beach, Fla.
The swimwear, resortwear and accessories brand on Friday will open a pop-up shop at 700 South Rosemary Avenue, in the city’s Rosemary Square shopping center, marking its second brick-and-mortar shop. The first store, a permanent location at 321 Lafayette Street in New York City, opened last March.
“We as a brand, pre-COVID-19, decided to go after brick-and-mortar retail as a strategy,” Sarah Landman, the company’s chief executive officer, told WWD. “I do think brick-and-mortar has a direct impact on online sales. Our plans were to roll out seasonal pop-ups.”
That included a temporary spot in Malibu, Calif., last summer. (The project was scrapped amid the pandemic.)
“Now we’ve been really cautious about any permanent decisions,” Landman said, regarding the decision to move ahead with a pop-up. “New York is our largest market, historically, and still is. But with COVID-19, so many people have temporarily and permanently relocated to southern Florida. So now it’s just the biggest growth opportunity. And the financial structure that we’ve worked out with the landlord there is very low risk.
“And this season, with resort, so many people are not traveling in the way they used to,” she continued. “But domestic travel — especially to warm weather locations, Florida specifically — is up. We want to take advantage of that as well and bring brand awareness to that market.”
Much like the Manhattan location, Landman said the 2,000-square-foot West Palm Beach shop, which runs through May 31, is meant to look and feel like a beach shack.
“It’s inviting and comfortable and sort of not too precious,” she said. “Pre-COVID-19, the idea was that people could come hang out on the couch and play a game of backgammon and browse their favorite destination coffee table books. And the dressing rooms are meant to look like outdoor showers and everything is just sort of casual and beachy.
“And with a warm weather location, there might not be as much hesitation with going in store,” Landman continued. “That said, we’re being extremely cautious about COVID-19 restrictions, capacity, all that. But, we do think it’s still an opportunity.”
Even with social distancing mandates, Solid & Striped has been in growth mode during the pandemic. A swim collaboration with Italian brand Il Pellicano sold out in two months over the summer, while all categories of Solid & Striped’s e-commerce business are growing, with particular strength in accessories, up 75 percent, year-over-year.
In addition, the brand has recently launched a women’s ready-to-wear collection; holiday gift sets, which includes loungewear, sleepwear and face masks; planned collaborations with jewelry brand Lele Sadoughi and footwear brand Freedom Moses, and has an activewear collaboration in the pipeline.
The assortment in the south Florida pop-up will include men’s and women’s swimwear, the latest resort collections and accessories, such as a successful sunglasses collaboration with Le Specs, among other things.
“We have really been working hard to evolve the brand,” Landman said. “The idea has really been to develop into this resort and leisure lifestyle brand and making sure that we developed categories that complement that lifestyle.”
There are no plans to open more permanent stores at present, Landman said, adding that the company will consider other pop-ups in the near term, while growing the online business.
“We’re waiting to see where the world is and what happens [with the pandemic],” she said.