Rhone opens flagship store in New York’s Flatiron District

Rhone jumps into the activewear battle in the Flatiron District.

The men’s brand has signed a deal for a 1,500-square-foot flagship at 133 Fifth Avenue on the corner of 20th Street. Rhone will join Nike, Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Bandier, Athleta and other active brands in the neighborhood just a stone’s throw from the iconic Flatiron building.

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The store is Rhone’s third permanent location in Manhattan and is part of what started as a pop-up in Times Square on 1585 Broadway, as well as a unit in Hudson Yards. The brand also has a store in Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Connecticut, and a small office in Brookfield Place that is about to be closed.

The Flatiron store will be the largest in the fleet and is considered the brand’s flagship, according to Nate Checketts, co-founder and chief executive officer.

“New York is our home and that’s where we wanted to place our flagship. We have always been in love with the Flatiron District and the active range is still very present, ”he said, pointing to other activewear brands in the area. And while the pandemic has put a heavy toll on pedestrian traffic, Checketts believes it is only temporary. “People will be walking down Fifth Avenue again soon,” he said.

The same goes for Times Square, where Rhones “little pop-up that could” has held its own for the past few months. “All physical retail has been challenged, but we see this as a flaw in our long-term plans,” Checketts said. “The data shows that in a post-vaccination world, people will return to gyms and fitness classes, but some of the changes will be permanent, with less time spent in physical offices and more time at home, outside, and outside I believe shopping. I think we will all wake up from our digital sleep and want to experience the world a little more. “

The Flatiron store was designed in collaboration with Virginia Maggiore of Retail Design Collaborative to be modern and evoke movement. It uses metal and light wood, and features Herman Miller and Design Within Reach furniture. It will carry Rhone’s full range of active clothing, as well as the Commuter Collection and technical products with proprietary GoldFusion technology, an environmentally friendly fabric treatment.

The story goes on

In-store will feature Rhone’s partner Tonal, a home gym trainer who enables customers to test products while doing full-body workouts in-store. There will also be a monthly running club that will meet at the unit, and if it’s safe to do so, classes, events, and celebrity appearances are scheduled, Checketts said.

The store will be officially opened on March 16. To get started, Rhone has designed a special limited edition t-shirt that is only sold at this location.

Later this spring, Rhone will open a store on Newbury Street in Boston, the first in that city. The store, which will be 1,100 square feet smaller than the Flatiron unit at 1,100 square feet, will have similar amenities, events, and engagements when it’s safe, Checketts said, along with a work-from-home area from Herman Miller in the customer Can take a break from shopping to sign up.

The planned opening of the two stores shows Rhone’s conviction that, despite all the enthusiasm for online shopping, it still comes down to “being personal”.

“It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true: They say physical retail has died, but it’s mediocre physical retail that has died,” he added.

Right now, 80 percent of Rhone’s business is directed directly to the consumer, and Checketts said the brand is still trying to increase its wholesale penetration. The brand is sold in Nordstrom, Peloton, JackRabbit and other specialty stores and gyms in the United States. It is also present internationally.

“We’re seeing growth across all channels,” said Checketts. “We’re not even close to saturating the wholesale market. We are definitely seeing demand. “

Rhone was founded in 2014 and in 2017 L Catterton made a significant investment in the brand, which is expected to have annual sales of around $ 50 million. It was followed by the $ 6.2 million raised by a group that included former NFL Network and ESPN executive Steve Bornstein. David Stern, NBA commissioner emeritus; Sports personality Ryen Russillo; Shane Battier, former NBA player, and M3 Ventures, a mutual fund managed by former CAA manager Martin Dolfi.

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