Poppy Barley opens first flagship store

Edmonton-based leather footwear and accessories company Poppy Barley has taken the leap into retail with the opening of its first permanent flagship store in its native town of Edmonton, Alberta.
The bespoke Canadian brand, which first launched as an e-commerce company in 2012 offering custom-made shoes, opened a flagship store at Southgate shopping centre last month.
Poppy Barley first flagship store in Edmonton, Alberta at Southgate shopping centre. - Poppy Barley

The 1000-square-foot store carries made-to-measure styles and in-stock women’s and men’s footwear, as well as leather accessories such as purses, and was designed to communicate Poppy Barley’s brand story including where products are made and how they’re manufactured.
“It’s not your typical ‘Designed in New York, Made in Italy’ story,” explained Poppy Barley co-founder Kendall Barber, in a news statement. “And there are no hard benches and shelves crammed with shoes. Our vision is to communicate Poppy Barley's main brand value, which is Luxury For the People. It’s designed to be fun, inviting, educational and community-centered. It celebrates transparency, quality, craftsmanship, Canada and Mexico—essentially, the foundation of the Poppy Barley brand.”

Poppy Barley first flagship store in Edmonton, Alberta at Southgate shopping centre. - Poppy Barley
The brand’s story is communicated in store through educational props including a customer-meets-artisan photo display and a tactile leather wall for customer exploration, while an intimate made-to-order measurement lounge provides a sense of luxury.
What’s more, the store’s interior was designed with specific elements from both Edmonton and Mexico. Customers can find handcrafted baltic birch millwork from Edmonton’s Oliver Apt throughout the store and eco-friendly encaustic cement tile in a traditional clover and star pattern from Edmonton-based River City Tile Company. Meanwhile, a leather cutting table featuring lasted shoes and shoe-cuts comes from Mexico.
The decision to open a store at Southgate as opposed to a standalone boutique was a natural decision due to the current state of retail, explained Kendall.
Poppy Barley first flagship store in Edmonton, Alberta at Southgate shopping centre. - Poppy Barley

“We explored both options and listened closely to our community. We found Southgate to be innovative in understanding our vision for a community-store within a mall. Southgate attracts Edmonton guests, and much of our growth over the last five years is due to support from Alberta customers. It just makes sense. We believe there's benefit to growing our brand in such a high traffic space.”  
Though no other new store locations have been confirmed, the company has been hosting pop-up shops throughout the country.
Poppy Barley will be hosting a pop-up in Toronto September 28 to the 30 at Offsite. The company will equally be in Ottawa for the first time ever for a pop-up on September 26 at Vincent. 

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