News + Views | Poppy Barley chooses Edmonton for flagship store

Poppy Barley is delivering on its promise to offer bespoke, made to measure and custom footwear to men and women all over the world and it has chosen Edmonton as its home-base to do so.

In an industry where the majority of manufacturers are limited to standard foot measurements, Poppy Barley recognized an opportunity to service a high percentage of people who did not fit this mold.

The company grew up from humble beginnings, and for three years the founders Kendall and Justine Barber (who are also sisters) bootstrapped their way to growth by hosting temporary pop-up shops in metropolitan cities across Canada. The company takes pride in overseeing every step in the manufacturing process and ethically sourcing their materials; one of many reasons why they have built a strong rapport with a loyal customer base.

They later transitioned this personalized shopping experience to an online platform where customers can purchase their goods with no intermediaries or product markups. Right down to the color, style, and measurement the power is back in the hands of the customer, and they have the ability to personalize a look for their unique taste and fit. It is evident the growing e-commerce company is on a mission to revolutionize the way women buy footwear.

Fast forward five years and Poppy Barley will be opening up a flagship store in their hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. In favor of the locals and the willing travelers, Southgate Shopping Centre will play host to the Canadian-grown company, and there will be limited product styles only available to those that shop in-store.

The fact that a Canadian-establish retailer is setting up a brick-and-mortar store at a time when many of the big conglomerates (ex. Ralph Lauren,Sears to name are few) are shutting down comes as a surprise to us. However, this is why we love the Poppy Barley team. They act on undervalued opportunities, and no matter the scale, they keep their focus on a personalized customer experience.

Poppy Barley’s move to a physical showroom experience reminds us of howINDOCHINO has found success with growing into a global presence. They too offer customized wear and having a retail location with limited inventory makes it a viable business model.

At a time when focusing on a digital presence seems like the only way to go, this direction caters to a clientele that prefers the in-person experience and assistance.

Challenging the status quo and going against the grain has been a practice that Poppy Barley has proved many times over. With a growing business and a loyal customer base, this is not all that’s in store for us (literally!), and it has been astounding to watch their ascendance in the retail community.

What’s the Millennial icing on the cake? The founders are still of the age to have their cake and eat it too.

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