RL Pro Exclusive Q&A: Vuori Shares Brick-and-Mortar Expansion Plans

Retail Leader Pro talks to active lifestyle retailer Vuori about its new store growth strategy and expanded product offerings to reach more consumers.
Elizabeth Christenson
Editor, Retail Leader
Elizabeth Christenson profile picture


  • Expanded product offerings outside of known product categories will extend interest in brands to more consumers. 
  • Brick-and-mortar stores will continue to be a part of DTC brands’ expansion strategies as a way to connect to consumers in communities where brands want to grow.

Coastal California active lifestyle retailer Vouri was launched as a men’s brand in 2015 by Joe Kudla. Today, the retailer’s growth is being fueled by a $400 million investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 that put Vuori’s value at $4 billion. Retail Leader Pro talked with Catherine Pike, Vuori’s vice president of retail, about opening more than 100 stores nationwide during the next five years.

Retail Leader Pro (RL Pro):  With expanding your brick-and-mortar locations last year in New York’s SoHo neighborhood and London, how does Vuori view the role of the physical store?

Catherine Pike
Catherine Pike, Vuori’s VP of retail

Catherine Pike: The retail experience is a vital channel for Vuori. We have seen great success with the stores we have added, understanding that the experience of touching and feeling products is important to consumers. Brick-and-mortar stores will continue to be a part of our expansion strategy into the future as we identify new communities where we want to grow. 

RL Pro: With plans to open more than 100 stores during the next five years, why is now a good time for your brand to roll out additional physical stores? How do you choose your store locations?

Pike: With an aggressive retail strategy planned, we have the opportunity to open in many of the markets where our customers live. Our storefronts have to make sense for the brand in terms of format, adjacencies and location. For instance, it took us four years to land on the right space for our SoHo flagship in New York. We think we found a great location at 106 Spring St.

RL Pro: How would you describe your new stores’ in-store experience for consumers? Does the store experience vary by location?

Pike: We try to keep our in-store experiences very similar so that no matter where our customer is in the world, they feel the common thread of being in a Vuori store. The in-store experience for our consumers is one that brings them into the California lifestyle with the light and airy feel of our stores. It is also an experience that allows customers to touch and feel the high-quality Vuori product. Our store teams offer best-in-class service to help our customers find pieces that they are going to love. 

Our flagship stores are the stores that differ the most, as they are larger in size, have new fixtures, showcase elevated furniture and finishes. In addition, these flagships have a wider variety of product due to the size of the store while also carrying product that is not usually stocked in other stores. (Dive into Vuori’s SoHo flagship experience here.)

RL Pro: In what ways have you redefined your strategy to connect with evolving shopper needs and preferences?

Pike: Brick-and-mortar has been a part of our redefined strategy to reach our customers and present a full articulation of the Vuori brand. Additionally, we have expanded our product offering to better serve our customers outside of the categories we are most known for — fitness and lounge. For example, now that people are returning to office, we have expanded our travel commute products, making the seamless transition from life to office. 

RL Pro: Your store locations host yoga classes, local art shows and other events. As an activewear brand, how are these activities and events an important part of your consumer experience?

Pike: At Vuori, our customers are part of a community, so it is very important for us to connect in these ways. We strive to create a holistic and personal brand experience for customers with these events and experiences, emphasizing our motto: “Built to Move. Styled for life.” Additionally, for those who are unable to attend in-person events, Vuori hosts daily workouts on our Instagram channel to connect with our community around the globe. 

RL Pro: As a values-based retailer, how will sustainability and ethical manufacturing continue to play a role in your success story as you grow?

Pike: We believe that businesses have the power to make real, meaningful progress in securing a low-climate future. That’s why we decided to pursue Climate Neutral certification. Being Climate Neutral Certified means that we’ve measured and offset all of our carbon emissions from making and delivering our products in a given year. We have now been Climate Neutral Certified for three years running. 

In addition to offsetting 100% of our emissions, we are working to actively reduce our emissions internally and throughout our supply chain. To hold us accountable, we set science-aligned targets to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C. We aim to have a 42% absolute reduction in our carbon footprint against a 2021 baseline across Scope 1 + 2 by 2030. We also aim to have a 48% absolute reduction in our carbon footprint against a 2021 baseline across Scope 3 by 2030.

RL Pro Rapid Round:

For this last segment, we asked Pike to fill in the blank for these rapid-fire questions below…

The future of retail is: Staying connected to evolving customer needs and meeting them. We know that when we connect with and listen to our customers, we make great decisions in how we design our product, our stores, and hire and train our teams.  

The best career advice you ever received: Have fun. Be kind. If you are stuck in a decision, go spend time on the floor with associates and customers, they always have the answer. 

Piece of media (podcast, book, movie, etc.) that’s inspired you recently: I read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I find the practice of habit stacking to be simple and effective. It helps me personally and professionally especially during busy times.