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StoreTours: Why Timberland Dropped a Ginormous Replica Boot in the Middle of New York City

Timberland knows how to make a statement.

The heritage boot brand this week will host a series of activations around New York City aimed at encouraging people to get outdoors and enjoy — as well as preserve — nature.

The festivities kicked off today with Timberland dropping a 13-foot replica of its iconic yellow workboot in the middle of the city’s Flatiron District — atop a pop-up park with grass, benches and a full-sized living birch tree. The ginormous boot, of course, served to grab the attention of scores of passersby who were encouraged to plant a tree and make a pledge that would benefit the environment.

timberland replica boot new york

People stop to take pictures with Timberland’s giant replica boot in New York.

“We have a long history of doing good in the community and making better products, but I don’t know if we’ve bringing it to life or being very consumer-facing about it over the past few years — we’ve actually been very quiet about it,” said Kate Kibler, VP of direct-to-consumer and Americas marketing. “What we’re doing today is working to build a movement toward our purpose and toward greener communities.”

timberland new york event

Volunteers stop to sow miniature potted plants.

To that end, tomorrow, 150 volunteers from Timberland, Journeys and the Student Conservation Association will join forces to beautify the grounds and restore the student greenhouse above the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics in Harlem. And on Thursday, the brand will host the grand opening of its Fifth Avenue pop-up store, which has a range of features that give a nod to sustainability and environmental consciousness.

“There’s a lot of greenery we’re bringing into the store for the people of New York,” Kibler said. “There’s a living wall and a larger-than-life ficus tree. You’ll also see event activations in the store — like a rain room, which is meant to be a fun experience to bring you back to the root of Timberland, which will protect you in foul weather. We also have a snow room area with the same kind of intent — a very Instagramable moment.”

timberland manhattan store

Inside Timberland’s new pop-up store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Kibler said Timberland will be keeping a close watch on the Fifth Avenue pop-up — which will run until January — for key learnings that it can apply to new store launches.

“People still want to come in and touch and feel the product,” Kibler said. “They want to [engage with] our store teams and try things on. That human element and physical, three-dimensional tactile piece of it becomes really important — retail got away from that over the past 50 years and became about just selling the product and selling a lot of it. Now it’s about connecting with the consumer and having them connect with the brand.”

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