Growing up in Fair Harbor, NY, siblings Jake and Caroline Danehy developed a deep love of the ocean. After taking climatology courses and truly understanding the disastrous effects plastic waste has on our environment, an idea was born. Combining their love of surfing and their appreciation for the sea, they co-founded Fair Harbor – a sustainable swimwear company that sells boardshorts and swim trunks made of recycled plastic bottles. To date, Fair Harbor has recycled 500,000 bottles, making a profound impact on our environment and the way consumers view waste.
The digitally native brand began selling their product exclusively online in 2014. It wasn’t long before they started looking for new ways to connect with customers, spread their mission, and make a difference. In 2018, Fair Harbor turned to the physical retail space, hoping to explore a new avenue to grow their business. They decided to test out the leap from eCommerce to brick and mortar with a pop-up shop at Brookfield Place New York–the brand’s first physical location. They created a customizable space that enabled them to connect with customers through special event activations, eye-catching displays, and casual chats about their mission and their products.
Creating the physical space was twofold. It provided Fair Harbor a channel through which they could sell product, as well as a space that would strengthen shoppers’ relationship with their brand. “A physical retail space allows our customers to truly understand what our brand is all about, and to experience it using all of their senses,” said Jake Danehy, CEO of Fair Harbor. “We designed our space to feel like summer, so that customers who stopped by would be able to not only see – but to feel what our brand is all about.”
To support the launch of Fair Harbor’s first eCommerce to brick and mortar leap, Brookfield Properties ensured the brand’s presence at Brookfield Place was properly publicized. Details of the pop-up shop were shared on Brookfield Properties’ social media channels, as well as on the digital screens at Brookfield Place.
Fair Harbor’s pop-up at Brookfield Place New York resulted in 100% growth to online sales in the Lower Manhattan area – showing a direct correlation between the presence of a brick and mortar store and e-commerce sales in the surrounding area. “The physical space acted as a billboard, creating a halo effect that drove interested customers back to our website,” said Jake Danehy.
Brookfield Properties has proven success in helping digitally native brands establish their first brick and mortar space. While a retail center may not feel like an immediate natural home for an online brand, we are able to collaborate to identify the best possible locations by overlaying brand data with our own consumer data. This information, combined with the history of how similar retailers and categories have performed in our retail centers, helps us identify the best possible pop-up shop spaces for rent that will enable a brand to grow and get the most out of the brick and mortar experience.