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Kontoor Brands Opens New Co-Branded Lee and Wrangler Store

Greensboro, N.C. is a little bluer.

Denim giant Kontoor Brands recently opened Lee + Wrangler Hometown Studio, a new store that offers products from its two heritage brands.

The 4,000-square-foot storefront is located down the road from its global headquarters at 603 Elm Street. Kontoor president and CEO Scott Baxter said the spacious setup allows the brands to offer shoppers an experience that goes beyond the traditional retail offerings, including live entertainment and custom tailoring and laser imaging services.

“We have a great opportunity to showcase more of our collaborations and product lines with the Greensboro community,” he said. “We can also entertain outside and inside, enabling us to become an integral part of the Elm Street shopping experience.”

The store arrives at a time when denim and retail is gaining ground. Retail analytics firm Edited recently reported that new styles landing across the U.S. and U.K. market online are up 60 percent with sell outs rising 15 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, consumers are back in stores. Data from Criteo found that U.S. in-store sales transactions increased 8 percent in May over February last year, the last month before the pandemic caused many non-essential retail stores to shutter.

After exceeding financial expectations in this year’s second quarter, Kontoor is looking to accelerate the momentum by focusing on successful product categories like outdoor apparel, T-shirts and additional collaborations.

The company’s former co-branded store was located several blocks away from the new location and was just a fraction of the size. The Lee + Wrangler Hometown Studio offers the brands’ core products, as well as global offerings from Asia and Europe. Shoppers can also find Wrangler’s latest West-meets-surf collaboration with Billabong, new items from the ATG by Wrangler line and Lee’s Women’s Heritage collection.

With such close proximity to the global headquarters, the store will also serve as a research environment for the company to test the popularity of certain colors and fits with local shoppers.

Kontoor feted the store’s opening earlier this month with a family-friendly block party that brought together food, drinks and music from local bands. To continue the celebrations and sustain foot traffic to the new location, the company also organized a series of concerts throughout the month of August in partnership with Downtown Greensboro Inc.