PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After three and a half years as a pop-up store in Washington Square, Portland Gear is gearing up to open its own brick-and-mortar location in the shopping center.
When Portland Gear first launched in 2014, it was solely housed in a 1973 Volkswagen Westfalia camper that founder Marcus Harvey would drive around to different local events.
Since then, Portland Gear has become one of the top lifestyle apparel brands for residents and natives alike who want to wear their Rose City pride on their sleeves.
The brand now has an in-line store at Providence Park, and will soon swap out its Washington Square pop-up for a full-blown retail store in the mall to house its growing inventory.
“There’s just certain logistical things with the pop-up that makes it hard,” Harvey said. “[The new location will offer] a better consumer experience, a better employee experience, better product offerings… It’s important for brands and people to just constantly be evolving, and this was a logical way for us to do that.”
He added that the new store is slated to open by late April, and he expects it to have an elevated look and feel in comparison to its first brick-and-mortar location.
“We built that store next to Providence Park eight and a half years ago,” Harvey said. “We bought racks from Home Depot and built them ourselves and we painted the walls ourselves. We’re a little bit bigger now that we can afford a little bit nicer build-out, which is great.”
Portland Gear has shared early renderings of the additional shop. Take a look at the store’s design in the former Lush space below.
Once the brand’s new store opens, its pop-up will have to find a new home. Harvey says he plans on ‘un-retiring’ the Volkswagen this summer and parking it at a few key events that will allow his team to sell apparel out of the Portland Gear mobile, just like the old days.
Anyone interested in joining the Portland Gear team can apply for a position here.
According to Harvey, many staff members from the pop-up store will continue to work at the new Washington Square location, but he’s always on the lookout for fresh faces with a passion for Portland.