Yellow Box steps into its first retail store
Publish Date: August 04, 2014
Sandal maker Yellow Box has expanded its product line to year-round shoes and boots, and now the Chino, Calif.–based company is growing beyond its wholesale business to open its first stores. “We want to offer a full expression of what Yellow Box stands for in a format that customers can touch and feel,” said Terry Chen, president and founder of Yellow Box. The company’s partner is Affiliated Business Group, a division of Columbus, Ohio–based DSW, which will design and operate the stand-alone stores. The first of these opened in June, at The Falls, in Miami. Two more are set to open this month, in Westfield shopping centers in California — at Fashion Square, in Sherman Oaks, and at Topanga Mall, in Canoga Park.
Yellow Box offers “fresh and fun” styles that resonate with a wide age range, says Amy Alyeshmerni, leasing manager at Westfield Fashion Square. “When I saw the more structured footwear, I was very excited, because I felt that they had the breadth in their assortment to keep our customer happy,” she said. Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s anchor the 850,000-square-foot Fashion Square, and the 1,800-square-foot Yellow Box is on the second level, near Macy’s.
Founded in 1998, Yellow Box has hundreds of distribution outlets around the country, in boutiques and specialty stores and at department stores such as Belk. The company is named for its eye-catching yellow shoeboxes. These are meant to grab the customer’s attention, but it was the quality shoes and the growing customer following that caught the eye of Affiliated Business. In fact, Affiliated Business took the initiative and approached Yellow Box about a partnership. “They are known for this amazing sandal business, and their core competency or differentiation of their product is around embellishment and fashion within the sandal category,” said Christopher Lanning, senior vice president and general manager of Affiliated Business. Affiliated Business plans and manages the shoe departments for other retailers, most notably Stein Mart and Gordmans, and also has a retail team for vertical opportunities like this Yellow Box retail business.
Yellow Box will be targeting high-visibility, high-traffic fashion malls, lifestyle centers and urban retail areas. “We’re really interested in the moderate-to-upper-end tenant mix,” said Lanning. Affiliated Business created a store design intended to convey a sophisticated yet casual environment.
The initial agreement is for Affiliated Business to open three to five stores for Yellow Box within the first 12 months. There is a possibility of opening additional stores in a subsequent phase, probably beginning in mid-2015, but any long-term expansion plans are still indefinite, Lanning says.