International footwear brand Dr. Martens has revealed plans to set up a bricks-and-mortar presence in Australia despite retailers feeling the pressure to reassess their sales strategies.
The first Dr. Martens flagship store will open on March 1 in Westfield’s Pitt Street Mall in Sydney and an Australian website will go live at the same time. Artists will be present at the launch celebrations to personally style footwear purchased by customers.
Founded in 1947, the iconic footwear brand currently has bricks-and-mortar stores in the UK, North and South America, Asia and Europe. The brand was immensely popular throughout the 1960s, and prides itself on being a form of rebellious self-expression. In the 1980s, US musicians took the boots back home after touring throughout the UK, which began to grow the brand offshore.
According to Ragtrader, Dr. Martens believes opening a physical store in Australia will unlock growth opportunities for its “distinctive footwear”.
Get business news first
Sign up to SmartCompany’s daily newsletter
“The expansion into the Australian retail landscape means we can continue to speak to our consumers, through a pinnacle expression of the Dr. Martens brand, for years to come,” said David Dullens, Dr. Martens Australia’s marketing manager, in a statement.
“We’ve come a long way from modest work-wear boot to one of the most culturally relevant brands of the modern era.”
However, the brand’s physical launch in Australia comes at a time when many local retailers are struggling to keep afloat, with a number of fashion brands already reconsidering their sales strategy or bricks-and-mortar presence so far this year. Others, like the parent company of notable footwear brands like Zensu, have appointed administrators.