As Americans grow increasingly bored with mall shopping, Timberland is trying a new trick: A store that it reinvents every six weeks.
Called the Timberland Tree Lab, the store is in the King of Prussia mall in Pennsylvania. Staffed with hoodie-clad associates, it will offer craft-brewed beer or water served in bottles it intends to repurpose into shoelaces. And — like pop-up stores and limited-edition collections — Timberland hopes it is a recipe that can build buzz and dispel the “more of the same” perception many shoppers have about mall-based retailers.
The stores, staffed with hoodie-clad associates, offer craft-brewed beer or water served in bottles it intends to repurpose into shoelaces. And – like pop-up stores and limited-edition collections – Timberland hopes it is a recipe that can build buzz and dispel the “more of the same” perception many shoppers have about mall-based retailers.
The first collection, called Streetology, focuses on versatile style with hidden performance technology. In six weeks, it shifts to an entirely women-themed collection, SHEvolution, followed by a holiday-themed collection.
In its announcement, Timberland, owned by VF Corp., says the new format is an attempt to connect with shoppers who are “constantly seeking something new, and our stores need to deliver on that, every day," says Kate Kibler, VP/direct to consumer business in North America, in the release. "The Tree Lab is more than just a place to shop — everything a consumer experiences from the moment they enter has been designed to enhance their visit, expand their horizons, and leave them with a great memory to go along with that beautiful new pair of shoes."
Timberland is just one of many retailers wrestling with ways to reinvent physical stores to stay relevant as consumers spend more online, or in specialty format stores that reward their sense of treasure hunting. Abercrombie & Fitch, for example, is rolling out its A&F concept, which also highlights quick-changing seasonal capsule collections. And struggling Sears is toying with a store that sells only mattresses and appliances, two of its strongest categories.
In its most recent results, released last month, VF says Timberland’s revenues returned to growth, rising 3%, and that it expects growth in the low single digits for the full year.