Rhone is taking the plunge into retail.
After testing the waters with a series of pop-ups the past several years, the buzzy men’s activewear brand will open its first permanent location at Hudson Yards next month.
Nate Checketts, Rhone’s cofounder and chief executive officer, said the 943-square-foot location on the second floor of Hudson Yards’ retail complex, will be located near M.Gemi and Mack Weldon and will “showcase a modern, sleek and streamlined design.”
Checketts said the company chose Hudson Yards for its first permanent location because he believes the location “is an incredibly unique opportunity for retailers. It is shifting the way Manhattan moves and works in a real way that hasn’t happened for some time in New York. With more than 1 million square feet of retail and mixed-use space, and more than 100 luxury and specialty retailers, Hudson Yard’s urban development allows us to showcase the Rhone brand on an unparalleled platform.”
But to whet its retail appetite until Hudson Yards opens, Rhone this week opened its latest temporary location, a pop-up at 1585 Broadway that it is calling the Midtown Manhattan Retail Experience.
The location in Times Square is intended to service the Rhone customers who “work in and around the area,” Checketts said. “While more and more transactions are shifting digitally, customers still make purchase decisions based on what they experience in their daily life. So for us, this pop-up provides an opportunity to get in front of our customers in a tangible way, even if it is only for a few months. Ideally we would love to find a way to be there more permanently.”
The Retail Experience will remain open through the end of May.
Rhone has opened around five pop-ups over the past several years and “all have had a high level of success,” Checketts said. There are currently two other small locations in operation: one at Chelsea Piers Connecticut and the other at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan, but the Hudson Yards location will be the first location the company “has designed, built and launched,” he said.
And it may be the precursor to other permanent retail locations, Checketts said. “We certainly believe that retail has a bigger future for Rhone. We are using data as a way of determining not just which cities to show up in but specifically what neighborhoods and adjacencies we should focus on. We are excited about using retail as additional opportunities to engage directly with our community,” he said. He declined to offer further details on which locations the brand is considering and when additional stores may open.
Rhone was founded in 2014 and is sold at Nordstrom, REI, Equinox and JackRabbit along with more than 200 specialty stores and gyms. At the end of 2017, L Catterton, a partnership between Catterton, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Groupe Arnault, made an undisclosed “significant growth investment” in Rhone through its Growth Fund.