into Europe with EU website serving 12 new countries
Sustainable footwear specialist Allbirds is launching into mainland Europe as of Monday with a debut in 12 new markets. This follows its launch in the UK – in London's Covent Garden – in October last year.
(Author : Sandra Halliday)
The European launch won't be through physical shops at the moment but instead will be achieved through further expansion of its online offer. Goods ordered from within the 12 new markets will ship from the new allbirds.eu website with the company saying that it has seen plenty of requests from consumers in European countries.
The company certainly has enough funding to support the launch. Shortly after its UK debut, Allbirds, which was only founded in 2014, received a $50 million funding injection from institutional investors T Rowe Price, Fidelity, and Tiger Global. That brought its total funding so far to $75 million and valued the total company at $1.4 billion.
On Monday, the retailer said its direct-to-consumer business model “has allowed the brand to use both customer feedback and sales data to determine where they should open new markets and stores. As a DTC brand Allbirds has an immediate understanding of sales, success and consumer behaviour from its stores and website transactions and mainland Europe has accounted for over 10% of UK website traffic this year, revealing the appetite for the brand across the channel.” That traffic has been generated even though the brand didn’t even ship to mainland Europe until now.
The company also expanded into China earlier this year and currently has two shops there, one in Shanghai and another in Beijing. This brings the current number of permanent retail stores to eight, the others all being in the US, apart from the London location. Allbirds will open a store in Berlin later this year.
The company also said on Monday that “international expansion is seen as a great opportunity to iterate Allbirds' environment pledge. [Its] sustainability mission works better at scale – the bigger the company gets, the bigger its impact can be.”