Foot Locker is diving headfirst into experiential retail with the debut of its Hong Kong “power store,” a 26,000-square-foot sneakerhead paradise where shoppers can get a haircut or hang out and play Xbox in between trying on shoes.
Located in the city’s bustling Kowloon shopping district, the store is one of four the company plans to open throughout Asia in the 2018 fiscal year, with three in Singapore and one in Malaysia rounding out the pack. Only the Hong Kong location, however, qualifies as a power store, which Foot Locker’s chairman and CEO Dick Johnson described on the company’s last earnings call as an effort “in key markets to create more immersive and community-oriented customer experiences.”
Power stores in Liverpool, England, and Oxford Street in London likewise feature collaborations with local artists, on-site barber shops, sneaker cleanings and gaming zones, all designed to enhance the in-store experience at a time when many sneaker fans do much of their shopping online or via app.
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The company is betting on its new Asia outposts to help drive sales as its growth in the U.S. and Europe have flagged slightly in recent quarters. It is also launching e-commerce in Singapore for the first time, complementing its in-store offerings.
Throughout the year, the company plans to open 45 new stores and close 120 less profitable locations, and Johnson said power stores are in the works for the domestic market, with the Detroit area up first. The trick, he said, is finding “the right property, the right lease terms and the right construction period to make it happen.”