Tuesday, November 23, 2021

[EXCLUSIVE] Outdoor Voices To Open in Buckhead

Upstart athletic apparel business Outdoor Voices will open their first Atlanta area store in Buckhead.  The new store, situated in what some might consider an odd location, will be at 3231 Paces Ferry Place in Buckhead Village.  The store will open in a onetime residence that, like other area businesses along the short street, have been converted from residential to commercial buildings to house their mostly independent storefronts.  

The roughly 2,400 square foot space is listed as being part of Andrews Square, the shopping center home to Lucy's Market and Henri's among other tenants, but is actually located a street over in a freestanding building. 

24 year old Parsons School of Design graduate Tyler Haney started Outdoor Voices in 2013 as a DTC (direct to consumer) brand before opening her first storefront in 2014 in the company's home market of Austin, Texas.  In early 2020, after assorted internal struggles, Haney left the company, but returned a few months later with a new vision and plans for extending the brand.  (More on her departure and return.) 

There are currently eleven Outdoor Voices shops nationwide plus a "pop-up" in Palo Alto and another recently opened "pop-up" at Domain Northside in Austin.  A twelfth store is planned for RiNo (River North Art District) in Denver.  

We visited the company's 12 South in Nashville earlier this summer and noted that like the upcoming Atlanta storefront, it, too, is housed in a converted home.  The location on 12th Avenue S, however, is far more trafficked and pedestrian friendly than Paces Ferry Place, not to mention the fact that it's among other complementary brands like Faherty, Madewell, Marine Layer and Draper James, among others.  

The upcoming Outdoor Voices in Buckhead Village

Outdoor Voices which describes its products as "technical apparel for recreation," competes with several other specialty retailers offering similar products such as lululemon, Alo Yoga, Athleta and Fabletics, in addition to sub-brands from legacy retailers such as FP Movement (Free People) and OFFLINE by Aerie (American Eagle).  For the relatively small company to take such a low-key store with limited visibility is surprising.  

Fellow Austin-based DTC turned brick & mortar boots retailer Tecovas entered the Atlanta market in September when they opened a new boutique at The Shops Around Lenox, a center that would seem to make more sense for Outdoor Voices save for the fact that it's already home to a flagship lululemon shop.  

Real estate sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Outdoor Voices is scouting metro Atlanta for at least one other location, likely near the Atlanta BeltLine, but others are possible.  

Are you a fan of Outdoor Voices?  What is your favorite athletic apparel retailer?  Do you think their Buckhead location is an attempt to steer clear of the "Buckhead drama" while still having a presence in Buckhead?

Please share your thoughts below.  

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