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Birdsnest looks to redevelopment, pop-up roadshow

Hotels and luxury experiences are on the cards for Birdsnest founder Jane Cay as she looks to bolster the destinational credentials of the brand’s regional store in Cooma, NSW.

The women’s apparel retailer has just purchased the building where it currently operates its sole retail store and will redevelop the location over the next 12-18 months with an eye on providing the “ultimate retail experience” for shoppers who travel from across the country to visit the store.

The store redesign will go beyond revamping the shopping experience and will likely see the business work with partners on hotel stays and other adjacent services that would flesh-out the experience for travellers.

The predominately ecommerce driven business, which is now turning over more than $20 million each year, also intends to embark on a national pop-up roadshow this year and has locked down a partnership with Women’s Weekly to run a series of fashion parades across Australia.

Speaking to Internet Retailing, Cay said Birdsnest has no ambitions to open physical stores beyond its hometown location, but that the redevelopment and pop-up roadshow would recognise the need to provide customers with an additional physical touch-point.

“We’re looking at the other luxury experiences that we can look to design the ultimate retail experience for a woman,” Cay said. “We hope it will blow our customers out of the water and create an even bigger destination for Cooma.”

“It’s important to get out there…we have so many ambassadors across Australia so it’s great to connect with them.”

Cay, a former IT consultant who founded Birdsnest in 2004, is Internet Retailing’s top person in ecommerce for 2018.

Birdsnest has grown into one of the largest online women’s apparel retailers since launching online and today employs more than 140 people.

With the business continuing to grow, Cay has spent the last five-years building the company’s in-house clothing labels, increasing them to 50 per cent of the overall business.

She now sees international opportunities on the horizon, and despite not being directly focused on international expansion this year, says that the business is now set-up to tell a positive story in other markets.

“There’s endless possibilities, and international is one,” Cay said.

“That’s a great story that we can tell,” Cay said. “We’ve set ourselves up in the last four years to take advantage of that with our own labels.”

Birdsnest is not the only Australian fashion e-tailer looking overseas, Showpo founder Jane Lu has already started taking steps to grow her brand in the US and is currently in discussions with Amazon to stock its products on their American platform.

Cay said that Birdsnest is in the market for the long-term though, and won’t rush into new opportunities.

“We don’t want to be left behind, and we’re constantly innovating, but we’re not in a rush,” she said.

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