Inside Vuori’s Aggressive Retail Store Buildouts

Mark A. Carlson


Founder and CEO Joe Kudla launched Vuori in 2015 as a California lifestyle and performance apparel brand. After early success selling online and building loyal followers through social media, the company began selling very selectively through wholesale partners like REI and Nordstroms. As they continued to broaden their clothing line, they decided, like other DTC brands before them, that the only way to build a billion-dollar brand is to open your own stores. Unlike other fast-growing apparel brands, Vuori has been profitable since 2017 which provided a solid foundation upon which to expand their physical retail presence. In October of 2021, Vuori raised $400 million from Softbank at a $4 billion valuation which has helped to accelerate their aggressive plans to open retail stores. While much has been made of Vuori’s robust growth, financial prudence, and brand-building success from the outside, in today’s post we’ll take a look at Vuori retail store buildouts from the inside to see what drives the company’s retail experience.

Vuori’s California lifestyle apparel brand is growing like crazy. Check out our inside view of their retail store buildouts and what makes them successful.

                                                                                                                                    Courtesy of Vuori

While every Vuori store is different, they share a simple, practical, clean and modern aesthetic. That aesthetic begins on the outside of the store. As shown in the picture above, all a shopper needs to do is peer into the store to understand Vuori’s passion for visual storytelling.

Leaving nothing to a shopper’s imagination, Vuori clearly and concisely communicates what the brand is all about in the wall display shown below.

                                                                                                                                    Courtesy of Vuori

Another store focal point is the cash wrap which features a clean and modern look. The wall-mounted 3D laser-cut acrylic logo is a simple but tasteful reminder of the power of the Vuori brand.

                                                                                                Courtesy of Vuori

As seen below, Vuori cash wraps vary in size, and the walls behind the cash wrap are often unique for each store.

                                                                                                                                   Courtesy of Vuori

For example, in the Boulder, Colorado store we built a cash wrap that was larger than the one above and added a simple wood-stick depiction of the Rocky Mountains on the back wall.

                                                                                                                        Courtesy of Vuori

Simple and highly configurable wall systems are an important part of the Vuori retail store formula. In the picture below, we outfitted the grey walls on the left with an embedded threaded puck system that works for both metal faceouts and shelf supports. The system provides a merchandising solution for both hanging items like shorts and hats and well as folded items that go on shelves. To the right of the grey wall are birch walls which feature narrow embedded shelf standards which can accept shelf brackets and apparel bar brackets. The graphics on the top shelf are part of Vuori’s visual storytelling approach.

                                                                                                                      Courtesy of Vuori

Throughout their stores, Vuori uses platforms or risers which we typically make out of pre-finished birch plywood as well as merchandising tables that are constructed of a metal tube frame and birch plywood top.

                                                                                                                                    Courtesy of Vuori

There are many other fixtures sprinkled throughout Vuori stores such as the fit bar shown below which we made out of MDF with a Designer White laminate finish, birch plywood and fluted solid pine wood. The back side of the fit bar features a magnetic-latched door, pull-out drawers, and a hang bar.

As Vuori continues to expand its apparel line, there is a greater need for accessories fixtures. The accessories fixture shown below features a metal tube base and frame with a concrete base inlay, MDF shelves with a finish to match the base, crossbars with adjustable hooks on both sides, and header mirrors and graphics.

Aside from the core store fixtures, Vuori stores are populated with a lot of accessory fixtures and décor items such as the simple padded bench we made below.

Throw rugs like the one shown below help to give Vuori stores more of a boutique feel.

                                                                                                                                    Courtesy of Vuori

Comfortable seating and cement tables as shown in Vuori’s Pop-Up store in The Hamptons, NY help to create a casual shopping experience.

                                                                                                                                    Courtesy of Vuori

Many Vuori stores also incorporate wall art like the acrylic “The Rise The Shine” wall we made for their store in Venice, CA.

                                                                                                                               Courtesy of Vuori

To reinforce their California casual living ethos, some Vuori stores even include outdoor patios with comfortable places to relax like this one in Venice, CA.

                                                                                                                                    Courtesy of Vuori

While not part of their retail store planogram, we’ll end today’s blog with Vuori’s signature wholesale apparel fixture which is true to the Vuori brand. Dubbed the “Anti-gondola,” this 4-sided fixture features pre-finished birch plywood construction, a white gloss painted MDF topper, sleek embedded shelf standards, faceouts, shelves, apparel bars, 3D acrylic logos, and a branded header.

The anti-gondola is show fully merchandised in Hansen’s Surf Shop in the cozy beach enclave of Encinitas, CA- Vuori’s home town.


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