The brand, owned by Wolverine World Wide Inc., recently opened its first freestanding store, a 150-sq.-ft. shop at a mall in Natick, Mass.
The idea was to launch in a kiosk-designated area, known for high foot traffic. The spot features signage to tell the brand story, including Taylor Swift marketing materials, and showcases 45 different SKUs with a focus on Keds’ fashion push. Some featured styles are from the Taylor Swift and Kate Spade collaborations.
“It is part adventure, part shopping and a great window into our brand,” said President Rick Blackshaw. “We are using this as an [opportunity] to get feedback from our girls, and the response has been tremendous.”
Digital elements are being incorporated into the store concept. For instance, iPads will be available at the shop to view brand videos, new collections and top editor picks.
“The only [other] place [our customer] can find this assortment is online, and now she can see the styles on display in every color,” said Stephanie Brocoum, VP of marketing. “It gives a sense of our design and style aesthetic.”
Keds also aims to bow shops in California and Texas later this year, with additional locations to be revealed for 2014. All the spaces were created in partnership with Sparks Retail, a firm that specializes in retail display.
“We’re in the test mode and we have a great opportunity to [execute this concept] really well and keep learning,” said Blackshaw. “We want to see the reaction and judge where to go with this concept.”