Starting today, you can check out the first phase of Converse’s renovation to its Soho location in Manhattan. The brand invested in its New York City storefront to enhance the consumer experience and celebrate the creativity of its customer.
Among the changes to the newly expanded store at 560 Broadway – which now spans roughly 11,000 sq.-ft. from its original 4,600 sq.-ft. – is a larger product-driven first level and a bigger customization area on its lower level.
“One of the biggest challenges we had in this space was servicing the consumer. We added seating and opened up spaces, whether it be kids’ or the women’s area or moving customization away from the Chuck [Taylor All-Star] wall so people could actually get the product they wanted,” said Brandon Avery, global creative director DTC at Converse.
As part of the current updates, the store’s upper-level back wall was pushed back 20 feet, opening up more space for product and shopping; a redesigned cash-wrap area now highlights the brand’s key stories; and a more open lower level features collaborations, pinnacle product and the customization area.
Avery said the original customization space wasn’t able to churn out the sneakers as quickly as expected, with wait time of up to a week. The new space, he explained, would allow for customs to be ready within a day.
Although the store is open, the space is still being worked on. When the work is complete, the store will be the largest for Converse worldwide. The project is expected to be finished by October.
Part of the idea behind the update to the store, according to Avery, was to make sure Converse customers had their “most creative 15 minutes of their day” while they were in the store.
The refitted store will offer the Converse Blank Canvas Workshop, a customization experience that allows customers to design shoes from scratch in an hourlong session with the help of a sneaker designer, which the brand refers to as “The Maestro.” Every detail of the shoe can be customized, from the fabric to the materials, rubber toecap, eyelets and more.
“Why should we limit how a sneaker is made?” asked Avery. “Now you can pick up a great Chuck that you know and love and add to it, or you could start from scratch.”
The Workshop is exclusive to the Soho location and the Lovejoy Wharf store in Boston.