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Finisterre opens largest store to-date in London

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Retail |In Pictures

Finisterre Neal Street store Credits: Finisterre by Katrina Holmes

Cornwall-based sustainable surfing and outdoor B-Corp brand Finisterre, founded by British surfer Tom Kay in 2003, has relocated and upsized its London store in Covent Garden to open its largest retail space to date, building on its continual growth in the UK.

The new 2,702 square foot London flagship at 47-49 Neal Street is 80 percent bigger than its previous location at 7 Earlham Street to showcase a much larger selection of its men’s and women’s apparel, outdoor, swimwear and accessory collections, alongside a wetsuit showroom to place a spotlight on its natural Yurex rubber styles, a plant-based alternative to neoprene that cuts carbon emissions by 80 percent.

On upsizing the store, Kay said in a statement: “The timing feels good for us to be moving our London flagship store to Neal Street, in Seven Dials, Covent Garden. The open layout and increased size of the store will give our customers the ability to engage with the full product range in one place.”

Finisterre Neal Street store Credits: Finisterre by Jon Payne Photography

The store also allows the brand to grow its community in the capital, as it has been designed to transform into a 50-seater cinema space to host screenings and events, such as yoga classes, talks, and live music.

In addition, the space houses Finisterre’s third in-store 'Lived and Loved' repairs workshop, which offers repairs such as patches, alterations, and zips to knitwear, denim and outerwear, as well as waterproofing for its bestselling outdoor jackets. There is also a 'chillout' area complete with a coffee machine and a record player.

The store also highlights its surfing background with artefacts built by some of the world’s most skilled surfboard shapers with boards from local Cornish heroes Markie Lascelles (Cord Surfboards) and Hugh Brockman (BOS Surfboards) forming part of an installation by Australian shaper Josh Keogh.

Finisterre Neal Street store, London Credits: Finisterre by Jon Payne Photography

Finisterre upsizes London flagship by 80 percent to better cater to community in the capital

On a tour of the store, FashionUnited chatted to Finisterre’s chief marketing officer, Bronwen Foster-Butler and store manager, Ro Hawes, about the design and layout, the growth of its womenswear and apparel collections, and community outreach, as well as its growth ambitions in the UK as well as internationally.

“This store showcases the progression of the brand, as the main shop floor is essentially a 50/50 split between men’s and women’s,” explains Hawes. “The women’s demographic is really growing for the brand, particularly within London, whereas historically it has been much more male orientated and this store caters to that demand."

Finisterre Neal Street store, London Credits: Finisterre by Jon Payne Photography

Highlights from the current collections on display include the brand’s first technical adventure/hiking collection, the ‘Wander’ range designed to stand up to the challenges of multi-day adventures with lightweight yet tough pieces, including shirts, shorts, trousers and a short-sleeved jumpsuit, which are versatile and comfortable made from a quick drying 100 percent recycled ripstop fabric with a water-repellent finish.

Another focal point is the brand’s range of swimwear for women, offering performance swimsuits and bikinis designed for optimum freedom of movement and made from durable, sustainable materials, such as Econyl regenerated nylon composed from 50 percent pre-consumer waste and 50 percent post-consumer waste and recycled polyamide.

“There is a demand for good swimwear made out of sustainable materials that you can actually swim in. There are no ties to tangle with our swimwear, the styles are comfortable to wear and some are reversible, plus we go up to a UK size 22, as that was the category most women requested increased sizing in,” said Foster-Butler.

Finisterre flagship features event space

Finisterre Neal Street store, London Credits: Finisterre by Jon Payne Photography

The community is also at the heart of the brand and reflected in this store with the retail space downstairs able to be transformed to host film screenings, talks, workshops and live music. Some upcoming events include a screening of ‘Rebels With Cause,’ followed by a talk from guerrilla gardener and London-based activist Ellen Miles, and a screening of ‘Furthest Point Westan,’ which sees London-based Swimming group Swim Dem Crew tackling the 34th annual Dakar-Gorée crossing in the North Atlantic Ocean.

“We’ve always done a lot of events and this new entertainment space within the wetsuit showroom will make that easier,” adds Hawes. “As the selling space is primarily upstairs, the events can take place simultaneously whilst the store is open, and eventually we will be inviting the community, like the London Surf Club to see if they want to host events here as well.”

Foster-Butler added: “The layout is a big change compared to our other stores and we’re going to be doing almost quadruple the amount of events here.”

Finisterre Neal Street store, London Credits: Finisterre by Jon Payne Photography

Finisterre to make push internationally with new North America general manager

Finisterre has 11 stores across the UK, primarily located in the Southwest of the UK, in Cornwall, Exeter, Bath and Bristol, as well as Norfolk, Edinburgh, and Brighton. However, the B-Corp outdoor brand is looking to add more retail spaces across the UK and internationally with a focus on North America.

“We are really looking to expand further north in the UK, as whenever we put it on socials of where we should open next the north dominating the requests,” added Foster-Butler. “We are also looking at North America to expand our growth in the region with wholesale and our direct-to-consumer business, to eventually do our own stores.”

This international expansion, especially in the US, is being led by the brand’s new president and general manager for North America, Chris Evans. He joined the brand last year from Vissla, where he was vice president of international and sustainability. Before that, he spent five years with Patagonia and was global commercial director for the surf division.

Finisterre Neal Street store, London Credits: Finisterre by Jon Payne Photography