Allbirds quietly launched on Amazon late last week as the brand continues to solidify its wholesale partnership strategy.
The eco-focused footwear brand on Thursday launched on the e-tailer with some select styles like the Wool Runner, Tree Runner and Tree Breezer.
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The move comes as Allbirds revamps its product assortment to focus on classic styles as part of a transformation plan outlined in March meant to jumpstart growth and improve capital efficiency. This involves zooming in on popular core franchises, like the Wool Runner, and shifting away from newer styles that have not resonated as strongly with consumers.
Allbirds co-founder and CEO Joey Zwillinger told FN in an interview earlier this month that by Fall ’24, this shift toward core styles should help build the business with Allbirds’ current wholesale partners, including REI, Nordstrom, Public Lands, House of Sports and Scheels. Zwillinger said at the time that the brand could consider expanding into new wholesale accounts as well once this strategy takes off.
“We want to drive strong sell-through and good margins for the partners that we work with on the wholesale side,” Zwillinger said. “And we need to get our recalibrated product assortment inside of their walls before we really put the gas down to accelerate that channel.”
The new partnership with Amazon comes as Allbirds said it expects lower wholesale sales in the second half of the year and into the first half of 2024, with improvement expected in the back half of 2024.
“As we bring our new assortments to market, we anticipate reaccelerating growth in this channel in the second half and are speaking with new potential partners to selectively broaden the number of accounts,” Zwillinger told analysts in a call discussing third quarter earnings earlier this month, hinting to potential new partners.
According to BTIG analyst Janine Stichter, the Amazon deal makes sense for Allbirds’ consumer base.
“We sense the convenience of Prime shipping is important for the company’s target audience, making this a logical next step as the company looks to selectively broaden its wholesale partners,” Stichter wrote in a Sunday note to investors. “We expect more to come, largely beginning in the second half of 2024.”
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