Red Wing boots have arrived in midtown Manhattan.
With a growing number of urban fashionistas embracing the craftsmanship behind heritage brands, the Minnesota-based retailer is making its first foray into New York City.
The company-owned store, which opened in late February at 11 Penn Plaza, is part of a strategic push to open 1,000 stores globally in the next five years.
The company now has about 700 stores worldwide, with about 525 in the U.S. and Canada.
The 3,300-square-foot New York outpost is about twice the size of a typical free-standing store. With exposed brick and metal, the industrial-chic store is part museum, part showroom floor.
Along with a full line of leather boots, the store has a display that shows how the boots get made as well as a “wall of honor” that pays homage to the workers that built the city.
A floor-to-ceiling display includes a pair of battered boots and the story of a New York man who credits them with saving his life after he stepped on a live electrical wire while doing cleanup around the World Trade Center in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The store also provides while-you-wait boot repair and reconditioning.
While most of the new-store growth is coming in suburban markets, the Manhattan store is one of the newer urban-style designs for the company, said Marisa Kinney, Red Wing Shoe Co.’s senior director of global retail. Another is scheduled to open in the Boston area in July.
“With this flagship store, we’re flying the brand flag in midtown where were have a plethora of workers, residents and millions of visitors each year,” Kinney said. “We can service a variety of consumers here throughout the year with our brands.”
Founded in 1905, the privately held company still manufactures some of its shoes in Red Wing.
Its brands are distributed to more than 110 countries in free-standing locations as well as through other retailers and e-commerce. About two-thirds of the stores in North America are owed by dealers.
Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335