Vancouver-based multi-discipline performance training and fitness brand RYU has opened its first freestanding location in Vancouver's Kitsilano area. According to Chairman and CEO Marcello Leone, more will follow as the company plans to open 163 North American locations over the next nine years. The company’s e-commerce site also launches this month.
Founded in Portland, Oregon, RYU or 'Respect Your Universe', is an athletic tech-style apparel brand engineered for the fitness, training and performance of the multi-discipline athlete. Marcello Leone, son of the founders of Vancouver-based multi-brand luxury retailer Leone, took the company over in 2014 and spearheaded an overhaul which saw its headquarters moved from the United States to Canada, choosing his hometown of Vancouver to be its new corporate address. RYU's intention is to become the world's top multi-discipline performance training and fitness brand, according to Mr. Leone.
The Vancouver flagship, located at 1745 W. 4 Avenue in the city's 'athletic apparel strip', spans 5,600 square feet over two levels. According to Mr. Leone, the store sold 1,300 product units in its first three days of business, with exceptional Black Friday sales despite product not being discounted. He described the store, designed by award-winning AA Roberts Architects, as being spacious, relaxed and clean. He also described how consumers are speaking favourably about RYU’s innovative products that include a range of athletic fashions and accessories, including how the company’s athletic bags have received a “tremendous response”, for example.
Between now and the year 2025, Mr. Leone said that RYU plans to open 163 stores in North America, including approximately 15 to 17 in Canada. At least two more Canadian locations will open in the fall of 2016, with a further six expected for 2017. RYU isn’t wholesaling its products at the moment, though Mr. Leone said that there’s a possibility that the brand could open shop-in-stores at some point, given the right opportunities.
All photos are courtesy of RYU.