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Allbirds to Slow U.S. Retail Expansion, Expand Wholesale Biz


San Francisco-based brand Allbirds plans to slow the pace of its store openings and continue expanding its wholesale business. Other measures being undertaken as part of a transformation plan include shifting all footwear production to Vietnam by year’s end. The strategy is projected to re-accelerate the brand’s sales and profitability growth in 2024 after a transitional FY23.

Key elements of Allbirds’ transformation plan call for a focus on slowing U.S. store growth to three this year from 19 in 2022; measuring expansion to key wholesale partners in REI, Dick’s, Nordstrom and Scheels; re-connecting with “core” brand customers who are described as 30- to 40-year-old women; and shifting certain international markets to a distributor sales model. The moves are projected to save the company $35 to $45 million over three years.

Allbirds reported a $100.3 million operating loss in FY22, its first full year as public company, as annual revenues rose by 7.3 percent to $297.8 million with U.S. sales up 9.5 percent to $229.8 million and international sales essentially flat at $68.0 million. Meanwhile, next month, the San Francisco company welcomes Annie Mitchell, formerly of Gymshark and Adidas, as its new CFO.