Shop Talk: Soccer to ‘Em… UA’s Pop Hit

Soccer to ’Em
Nike will continue to roll out its soccer shop-in-shops to additional cities, including Plano, Texas, and Huntington, Pa., next spring. The company has already bowed locations in San Diego, Miami, Berwyn, Pa., and New York. 

The store concept, which hit Niketown New York on Dec. 4, is adorned with lockers filled with clothing and accessories featuring the logos of Nike-sponsored club teams. This spring, the shop will switch to national gear, including jackets and hoodies.

Athletes can also use the NikeiD studio to customize soccer boots, including the sole plates (based on surface of play), materials, colors and width. Team and professional uniforms also can be customized. To add to the experience, the lounge is even staffed with soccer players.

Run, K-Swiss, Run
K-Swiss Inc. bowed its first U.S.-based running store in Santa Monica, Calif., this month, following a successful opening for its first running retail store in Taiwan earlier this year.

“We consider ourselves a California sports company, so it was significant to have a store here as well,” said company EVP David Nichols.

The firm is hoping the store becomes a “nerve center” for the running community, said Mark Sheehan, director of performance footwear. “It allows us to tell our story exactly the way we want it told.”

K-Swiss has also hooked up with the Los Angeles Roadrunners club, which helps athletes gear up for the Los Angeles Marathon. And though the running community is typically very loyal to the brands they wear, K-Swiss can gain market share with new comers to the sport, explained Nichols. “There is forever one-third of the running population looking for a new shoe or coming into the sport in a new way, so that’s where our opportunity is,” he said.

Under Armour’s Pop Hit
Under Armour’s first New York pop-up store on 57th Street — just a stone’s throw away from Niketown — has been a hot spot since its Dec. 7 debut, which drew celebrity attendees such as actress Emmy Rossum.

“We’ve seen consistent traffic,” said Christie Walsh, senior director of retail. “Given our location, tourist traffic has been strong from both international tourists and state-side folks who are in New York for the holiday experience.”

The 3,300-sq.-ft. store stocks men’s and women’s footwear, apparel and accessories and will close in mid-January. Footwear sales at the store have been in line with expectations,  said Walsh.

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