Nudie Jeans is growing its footprint in New York while closing other doors because wholesale partners were deemed not a good fit.
On May 18, the Swedish denim company will open its second New York store at 116 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn, deep in the heart of hipster Williamsburg. The new store measures 1,697 square feet and will offer Nudie’s full range.
The brand opened its first New York store, located in the East Village, in 2015. It also has a store in Los Angeles.
The Brooklyn store will be the brand’s fourth new outpost in a year. Nudie opened two stores in Indonesia and one in Holland last year and is on the lookout for new retail locations as well as locations for hubs where people can trade in garments. Portland in Oregon, where REI recently said it’s pulling out, was mentioned but not confirmed as a possible next location.
The brand’s goal is to find locations that are compatible with its circularity mission. “We have chosen the quality of the doors over the number of doors,” said Sandya Lang, Nudie Jeans chief sustainability officer.
Some closed accounts were among the most profitable, Lang said, but were ended because they didn’t support the brand the way management wanted. These stores sometimes treated the merchandise as seasonal and marked it down prematurely.
“We believe our products are timeless and have a long life not defined by seasons—a longer value other than spring or fall,” Lang said. “Discounting our products before they are in our stores is bad for our brand.”
“We don’t have a growth strategy, we have one for profitability,” she said. “Our strategy is with our sustainability.”
Part of the ethos that Nudie is trying to protect is its dedication to repairing jeans.
Nudie said it repaired 65,386 pairs of jeans in 2022, up from 42,500 in 2021 through its in-store repair ateliers and repair partner arrangements with partners who are on board with the brand’s circular activities.
Earlier this year, Nudie joined forces with the Glasgow-based ACS, or Advanced Clothing Solutions, to repair jeans free of charge to UK customers and keep the garments in circulation longer.
Nudie wants to develop that part of the business as well as its secondhand business to make that a self-driven revenue stream. According to Lang, the recycled products will be a whole new value chain that will cover its own costs.
Included in that chain are the secondhand jeans which earn customers 20 percent off coupons for new or used jeans when they turn them in. Last year some 20,772 pairs were turned in and 3,984 were resold. Some 1,142 repair kits were sold.
Roughly 46 percent of Nudie’s sales volume is from wholesale, 31 percent is retail and 26 percent is online.