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South Congress Avenue retailers
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Austin’s Vibrant Retail Scene: A Spotlight on South Congress Avenue

Austin, the capital of Texas, is a vibrant, eclectic, and creative city that has recently experienced remarkable growth and transformation. Austin’s retail landscape reflects the uniqueness of the city’s culture, making it a wonderful destination to explore best in class retailers. McMillanDoolittle specializes in designing and leading immersive and inspirational retail study tours for our clients that ignite inspiration, foster team building, and encourage out of the box thinking. To discover how our team of retail experts can assist your business in experiencing best practice and advancing your global retail innovation goals, simply contact us.

This week, we are featuring Austin’s South Congress Avenue, a popular shopping destination lined with western stores, innovative flagships and pop-ups, and live music venues.

Discover Kendra Scott’s Southern Inspired Collection: Yellow Rose by Kendra Scott

Founded in Austin in 2002, Kendra Scott is a fashion accessories brand that now operates over 100 stores. In 2023, Kendra Scott launched Yellow Rose by Kendra Scott, described as their “ranch-inspired collection,” featuring western essentials such as Texas-shaped and inspired jewelry, cowboy boots and hats, accessories, and apparel. The collection fits seamlessly into the Kendra Scott portfolio, while adding an exciting, unique southern twist.

At the Austin flagship, a portion of the space is dedicated to showcasing this collection, along with a wall displaying their Scott Bros collection for men and an extensive color bar for personalized items. Guests can also grab a coffee, snack, or glass of froze from the attached Kendra Scott Sips & Sweets Café and socialize on the patio. Located on South Congress, this flagship location perfectly embodies Kendra Scott’s Texas-based roots and brand identity.

Kendra Scott

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Head Over to Tecovas for Premium Quality, Handmade Cowboy Boots

Headquartered in Austin, Tecovas got its start in 2015 as a direct-to-consumer brand and now operates more than 30 stores. Tecovas’ boots are handmade by a team of local artisans in Leon, Mexico who meticulously craft the shoes through a series of 200 steps.

The 4k sq. ft. Flagship store on South Congress opened in 2022. Distinguishing itself from the numerous boot stores along the shopping strip, Tecovas’ store design encapsulates the sense of elevated western through its backlit wooden fixture displays, local pieces of art, comfortable leather benches, and a bar with complementary Texas favorite drinks. Shoppers can also customize their pair of boots in store at the Custom Bar with “Stamping, Branding, to Sketching”.

Tecovas

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Listen to Live Music While Shopping at Aviator Nation

Aviator Nation, a California-based clothing brand, draws inspiration from the vibrant aesthetic of the 1970s, featuring bright rainbow colors, surfer vibes, and hints of rock and roll. The South Congress location captures the playful and vibrant essence of the brand with dynamic murals, pool tables, and walls adorned with guitars and surf boards.

In addition to its lively ambiance, the store offers guests the opportunity to experience Austin’s renowned live music scene. Equipped with a full stage and sound system, the store regularly hosts performances by local artists. Beyond music, Aviator Nation also provides a range of activities, including yoga and fitness classes held on its rooftop, offering prime views of the city.

Aviator Nation

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Stop By Sézane Pop-up for a Taste of Paris

The sustainability-focused fashion brand Sézane has brought a touch of Paris to Austin with its six-month South Congress popup. As one of the first in the fashion industry to achieve B Corp certification, awarded in 2021, Sézane has garnered a celebrity following for its dedication to sustainability and craftsmanship.

Upon entering the Austin location, we were warmly greeted with mini croissants and a beautifully designed store. Highlights of the space included the belt bar, jewelry display, and sweater wall, offering a simple yet elegant shopping experience. Considering Sézane’s track record of turning past pop-ups in California into permanent retail locations, we eagerly await to see if the Austin pop-up will evolve into a permanent fixture on South Congress Avenue.

Sézane

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Maddie McBride

mmcbride@mdretail.com

Maddie is an analyst on the consumer insights and innovation team at McMillanDoolittle, supporting quantitative and qualitative primary research methodologies, business analysis, strategic planning, and new concept, format and product development. She brings recent expertise in human-centered design, creative workshop facilitation, and statistical analysis to her project work. Maddie received her BA in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.

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