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Sneakernomics: NYC Adidas Store Raises the Bar for Sneaker Retail

Dec 13, 2016
Matt Powell, Vice President, Industry Analyst ;
Sports , Footwear

Adidas has opened its largest store in the world on Fifth Avenue in New York City and it is amazing.

On the morning of the grand opening, my phone started to light up with messages saying there were hundreds of people in line to get into the new store. I rushed over and found a huge but orderly crowd of Adidas fans waiting in line.

When I returned that afternoon for my tour with Adidas executives, the lines still had not gone down.

The design of the store is meant to emulate a football stadium, complete with chain link fencing, ramps, rough concrete floors, and exposed beams. Adidas made an effort to retain and expose the building’s original raw design, creating authenticity as well as maintaining a commitment to sustainably.

While there are elevators in the back of the store, the primary means of moving between floors are metal stairs, just like at your local field. Even the fitting rooms were designed to look like a locker room.

At 45,000 square feet and four floors, the Adidas branding is overwhelming. The 350+ employees were well-trained and extremely enthusiastic.

On the lower level, customers can find the Turf, where they can test and experience Adidas cleated footwear. There is also a custom print shop to create your own jerseys. The men’s assortment was featured on this level.

The first floor highlighted a launch zone showcasing the new Harden V.1, which released there ahead of the rest of the country by two days. The first floor also had a juice bar and personal trainers.

Women’s is the focus of the second floor, with a track to test running shoes and a bra and pant bar. The assortment in women’s was well thought out and curated.

The top floor is home to Young Athletes and Originals and had the greatest crowd during my visit. This floor also had a “miadidas studio” where customers can customize more than a dozen styles of top-selling adidas shoes. At the grand opening, fans, for the first time, could customize the highly sought after UltraBoost shoe.

Adidas executives told me the hottest-selling products in the store were the Parley products, which are made of the recycled plastic ocean waste.

All in all, the new Adidas store in mid-town represents a clear brand message and a focused assortment of fashion right products. It was a complete Adidas experience.

Job well done!

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