California apparel brand The Great in store expansion

Marianne Wilson
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A multi-category clothing brand is expanding its fledgling store portfolio.

The Great has opened its second store, a 1,200-sq.-ft. outpost on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, Calif. A third location is slated to open in Studio City, Calif., in January.

The brand plans to rapidly scale its brick-and-mortar presence by adding more than 15 new store locations to its portfolio by the end of 2023. The first locations will be in the Los Angeles area, followed by key markets throughout the United States.

Founded in 2015, The Great is sold at more than 200 stores worldwide and online destination in addition to its own freestanding locations. The brand has also entered into collaborations with Pottery Barn, The Honest Company and Goop, with more to come.

The Venice store is located in a historic Craftsman bungalow that was built in 1910. No structural changes were made to the building — oversized wooden shingles and a large door are iconic remnants from the original construction.

The Great’s casual, vintage Americana aesthetic is reflected in the décor, a collaboration with Romanek Design Studio. The Great owners, designers and co-CEOs Emily Current and Meritt Elliott tapped the firm for their first location (in West Hollywood, Calif.). The Venice store design embraces the space's original details and eccentric layout. An original fireplace serves as the store centerpiece. A hidden nook under the staircase features the children’s offerings.

"We began our careers as stylists and will forever maintain a firm belief in the importance of a tangible shopping experience,” stated Current and Elliott. “Some of our greatest memories are times we've spent together browsing racks or digging through piles in the back of independent, neighborhood boutiques… some of our most cherished finds come from combing obscure vintage shops or stumbling upon a rare knick-knack at a corner marketplace.”

The assortment at the Abbot Kinney location includes seasonal collections, core knits, shoes, limited-edition accessories, rare vintage finds, and women's, men's, children clothing.  It also features the brand's own made-in-LA home and lifestyle range, including linen napkins, aprons, bandanas and embroidered ballet flats.

Ryan Murphy, CFO of The Great, noted the “halo effect” of opening retail stores in markets where a brand already have a concentration of key customers.“With U.S. retail sales predicted to rise more than $4.3 trillion this year alone, and nationwide growth in e-commerce, we see a significant opportunity to expand our omnichannel presence,” he said.  “In a rapidly shifting market, we're aiming to service our customers where they are with real-time product offerings and real-time fulfillment – providing them with an easy and flawless shopping experience, whether they are purchasing with us online, in person, or some combination of the two."