By Brecken Branstrator
Shinola has opened a number of new standalone stores in the past few months, including one in Los Angeles, which is pictured here. CEO Steve Bock said that the company could open as many as six new locations next year.
Detroit--Watch and leather goods company Shinola is mapping out locations for new standalone stores in 2015, a strategy which CEO Steven Bock said allows the brand to tell its story and display its products in a consistent way.

The company could open up to six new locations in 2015, a goal that likely will carry through for a few years. 

Bock told National Jeweler that the company wants to open five to six stores every year for the next several years, but also notes that for the company, they’re focused less on the quantity and more on finding the right markets and, within those, the right real estate.

“The stores give us the ability to really merchandise and present the brand and all of the component parts of the brand--so all of the different product categories--in a wonderfully consistent way,” Bock said. “And it’s those stores, tied into our website, that are driving the business by combining both web business and (retail stores), allowing our customer to see on our website how we merchandise and what we represent in terms of quality and value and design, and then to go into the store to see and feel the same thing.”

Shinola’s retail presence started with its original store in Detroit and then New York’s TriBeCa neighborhood. 

Since then, the company has added locations in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. and, most recently, in Los Angeles. It also added an international presence when it opened a standalone in London this fall.

Bock said Shinola is opening a store in Chicago within the next 30 days or so and a location in Ann Arbor, Mich. within the first three or four months of 2015. 

He declined to give specifics past that, noting that they are still in negotiations for some openings.

When asked about how it will affect the wholesale business, Bock said that Shinola isn’t taking any focus away from that part of the company. 

“(Our wholesalers) are doing a fantastic business for us so that within each major retailer we’re expanding, but we’re not looking to expand beyond those major retailers. When it comes to specialty stores, we’re very selective. We’ll expand those, but very gradually and in a very careful way.”

Along the same lines, the company just opened a watch dial manufacturing facility in its Detroit store, which features the dial factory behind a glass wall so that the public can come in and see the brand’s dials being made. Production is expected to start at the beginning of next year.

“The idea always is to bring in and show the public increasingly more of what we’re doing from a manufacturing standpoint, so they can understand the details, the quality of the work, and can see what’s going on,” Bock said. 

By the middle of next year, that store will expand from approximately 4,500 square feet to 11,000 square feet, he said--an expansion which seemingly mirrors the company’s overall growth plans.

“We’re growing quite quickly, but we’re always driven by the key factors that make a Shinola product, a Shinola product. And that is: the design, the value of the components, the quality of the work, the presentation and the consistency of everything we do. So 2014 has been a fantastic year for us, and we look forward to 2015 being very similar.” 

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