March 29, 2019: Vince is expanding its presence in Florida. The minimalist label announced that its newest location is set to debut on April 4 at Aventura Mall, marking its second retail store opening of the year and fifth full-price store in Florida. “The Miami market has been extremely supportive of Vince over the years, and we believe Aventura presents a fantastic opportunity to engage with local customers as well as visitors from around the world,” said CEO Brendan Hoffman. The nearly 2,000-square-foot space will reside on the lower level of the Nordstrom wing, offering men’s and women’s clothing, footwear, accessories and fragrance, as well as a curated assortment of the brand’s home decor products.
March 26, 2019: Under Armour is making a big push overseas. Days after revealing plans to build a regional headquarters in Hong Kong, Under Armour announced the opening of its first flagship in New Delhi. “As a nation with a long, rich history in sport and an accelerating focus on health and wellness, we look forward to building a strong foundation for our brand in India and driving our ability to achieve even greater long-term international growth,” said founder and CEO Kevin Plank, who celebrated the launch alongside Olympian and longtime brand ambassador Michael Phelps. The UA store is located in the DLF Promenade Mall in Vasant Kunj and is stocked with the label’s full line of performance apparel and footwear for a range of activities, from running and training to basketball and golf. Among the offerings are its newest tech innovations, such as the Hovr running sneakers.
March 26, 2019: French Sole is stepping into the men’s business with the debut of a store on New York’s Upper East Side. The chain currently operates three locations in the area including French Sole Boutique, French Sole Outlet and French Sole Comfort. “We decided to open based on the need of a high-grade men’s footwear venue in the area, and by observing our client’s male companions waiting endlessly outside of our other three shops with little to do but be patient while they shopped,” said owner Randy Ochart, who also wholesales the French Sole New York women’s line. The new 700-square-foot men’s shop features footwear by Wolf & Shepherd, Trask, Amin Oehler, Ron White and Xsensibles. It also as a certified pedorthist on staff trained to modify footwear.
March 25, 2019: In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Sneakersnstuff is opening the doors to its sixth store in the world. The footwear retailer introduced a new 3,500-square-foot space on the Venice Beach Boardwalk in Los Angeles, which will also function as a hub for the company’s events, activations and other branded store experiences. Designed in partnership with interior architect designer Jenny Askenfors of Bofink Design Studio, the L.A. flagship is inspired by heritage elements in the West Coast neighborhood — from its Mexican history to its namesake Venice’s influences. Among the store’s features are a fitting room that pays tribute to the city’s car culture and a custom floor logo with shells picked from the beach itself. The dedicated Nike and Adidas shops-in-shop boast a Cortez piñata and a “Muscle Beach” centerpiece, respectively. Shoppers can also stop by Sneakersnstuff’s souvenir shop to pick up graphic T-shirts, frisbees, key rings and more.
March 20, 2019: At 110 years old, Red Wing Shoe Co. is still accomplishing firsts. The Minnesota-based brand has opened its first permanent retail shop in New York City, located at 11 Penn Plaza. The 3,300-square-foot, industrial-chic flagship celebrates the company’s work boot heritage and also recognizes the history of NYC with a Wall of Honor that pays tribute to the city’s skilled laborers. Other features in the store include boot repair and fitting services, and shoppers can customize their shoes with a wide selection of laces, inserts and socks. “We are excited to make it easier for New York’s workers, residents and visitors to find the right product and services for their needs, whether it’s working on a construction site or commuting to the office,” CEO Mark Urdahl said in a statement.
March 18, 2019: The Sadjaks are pulling out all the stops for Milwaukee shoppers. The third-generation shoe retailers — who own the Stan’s Fit for Your Feet chain, plus a pair of New Balance stores — are renovating their New Balance shop on Bluemound Road in Milwaukee’s Brookfield area. The store is getting a modern refresh to offer an improved shopping experience, with more apparel, video displays and a more prominent shoe-fitting service. The unveiling is set for April 5. Meanwhile, also next month, the Sadjaks will open their first dedicated Vionic store in the same shopping complex, between the New Balance and Stan’s Fit for Your Feet stores. It marks the fourth Vionic retail shop in the country and will carry the brand’s selection of shoes, sandals and orthotics for men and women.
March 14, 2019: It’s been more than 40 years since Fred Segal opened in Malibu, Calif., and on April 6, the retailer will return to its native home with a store in the revitalized Malibu Village shopping center. The 4,000-square-foot retail space will stock an assortment of women’s apparel and accessories and also host a multibrand footwear shop. Other features include a focused men’s assortment and separate floral shop. The opening comes a year and a half after Fred Segal made a splash with its mega-flagship on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. It plans to celebrate this newest launch with a weekendlong celebration April 6-7.
March 12, 2019: Vans is crossing the country. This month, the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based brand unveiled its first Vault by Vans shop, in a temporary space on New York’s Lower East Side. The pop-up will feature styles from the recent Vault collaboration with furniture company Modernica. And according to the company, the loftlike space will also host the local community with unique events and activations over the coming months. Stephen Mills, VP of global footwear product merchandising, said NYC’s fashion cred was a big factor in Vans’ decision to open there first. “New York embodies an eccentric culture and art scene, and through Vault by Vans, we can provide an outlet to further ignite creative expression,” he said in a statement.
March 12, 2019: Australian fashion site Showpo has debuted its first U.S. pop-up shop in Los Angeles. The store, which opened over the weekend and will host customers through March 17, is located on 8406 Melrose Ave. Founder and CEO Jane Lu said the pop-up will be used as a marketing channel to help the brand further connect with shoppers in the U.S., where it’s already clocking year-over-year growth of 48 percent. California is a leading market for the site, which has evolved from solely selling trendy apparel to e-tailing footwear, workwear, activewear, beauty and other accessories. According to the company, the L.A. store has been specially curated with content in mind and features its newest Desert Daze collection, along with a Showpo café social media nook. “It’s not a place to hold stock; it’s a brand extension. Product simply isn’t enough anymore; our customers want an experience,” Lu said.
March 12, 2019: Sergio Rossi has debuted its first boutique on Mount Street in London, next to Balenciaga, Christopher Kane, Roksanda and other luxury names. The shop, which spans 1,080 square feet, has been in the works for two years and will replace the former Sergio Rossi store at 207 Sloane St. The space was created by architect Marco Costanzi with an art deco boudoir feel and a muted color palette. In addition to stocking the label’s elegantly crafted women’s footwear, the store will be the first to carry a men’s capsule. CEO Riccardo Sciutto has been busy opening, renovating or relocating stores worldwide, including a pop-up that opened in January in New York’s Westfield Century City mall, and a permanent NYC store is in the works for late spring/early summer.
March 11, 2019: Sneaker Politics will open a new location this summer in Dallas. The 3,400-square-foot store, at 2822 Main St., will sit in the city’s popular Deep Ellum entertainment district. Sneaker Politics currently has doors throughout Louisiana (in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans) and one in Austin, Texas. Storeowner Derek Curry told FN that while scouting possible storefronts, he noticed that the Deep Ellum district had no major boutiques nearby, but almost everyone was wearing great sneakers. “There was a void in the Dallas market,” Curry said.
March 9, 2019: Las Vegas-based Urban Necessities has brought its consignment concept to New York City, securing space to sell rare and hard-to-find sneakers inside American Eagle. The store on Broadway will stock with footwear curated specifically to the market, including Adidas Yeezy styles and Air Jordans, as well as popular Nike silhouettes such as Dunk SBs and Air Force 1s. To excite shoppers, owner Jaysse Lopez will bring barbers and tattoo artists into the store and introduce the Makers Studio, offering customized apparel. Urban Necessities aims to open at least eight more shop-in-shops with AE. The next is slated to open in Toronto in October.
March 7, 2019: Onitsuka Tiger opened its first store in the U.S. — in a modern, minimalistic 1,100-square-foot space in New York’s trendy Soho neighborhood, with metal fixtures and neon signage (including an eye-catching tiger at the cash wrap). The store, located at 276 Lafayette St., features three categories of footwear: Onitsuka Tiger’s heritage product, its high-end Nippon Made line that’s crafted in Japan and its more trend-focused products. The shop also will stock the label’s its ready-to-wear apparel line, accessories and children’s footwear.
March 7, 2019: Amazon Inc. announced that it is shutting down all 87 of its pop-up shops across the U.S. starting at the end of next month, as it continues to re-evaluate its retail strategy. The majority of the pop-ups appear as standalone kiosks in malls or inside supermarket chain Whole Foods and department store Kohl’s in more than 20 states. Despite the closings, the company said that it is continuing to grow its brick-and-mortar presence through its bookstores and four-star stores, which stock products that have been rated four stars and higher on the site, as well as new and trending items.
March 5, 2019: Menswear brand Jos. A. Bank unveiled a refreshed look to its New York flagship, located in a two-story space at the corner of Madison Avenue and 46th Street. Originally opened in 1994, the 13,800-square-foot store was renovated to reflect the brand’s distinct personality. “Everything that Jos. A. Bank stands for — quality craftsmanship, heritage and comfort — is incorporated into the look and feel of this location,” brand president Mary Beth Blake said in a statement. The decor features custom furniture and fixtures made from wood, marble and copper, and it offers a unique shopping experience with multiple custom suiting and tailoring spaces.
March 5, 2019: British men’s label Harrys of London has planted its flag in the Big Apple with a new flagship location in New York City. The store is located at Park Avenue and 57th Street, in order to tap into the neighborhood’s mix of tourists and professionals. Since it was founded in 2001 by Matthew Mellon, Harrys of London has become a go-to among celebrity gents, including Novak Djokovic, Joseph Fiennes and Common, who recently sported a pair on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
March 4, 2019: DSW has teamed up with footwear charity Soles4Soles to give its loyalty customers a trip of a lifetime. As part of the DSW Gives philanthropy program, the retailer is running a sweepstakes now through March 8, inviting its VIP members to enter to win an all-expenses-paid volunteer trip to deliver shoes to people in need in the Dominican Republic. Shoppers can submit their names here. The winners and their guests will be notified this month, and the trip will take place Aug. 15-19. According to DSW, this is the first “loyalty trip” of its kind in the retail industry, and is part of the firm’s mission to create unique experiences for shoppers.
March 4, 2019: Retail guru Ronnie Fieg has a new shop in the works. The founder of Kith shared a sketch via Instagram of a store layout. The caption read, “How @ben.porto and I communicate. New Kith space opening overseas soon.” Ben Porto, who is mentioned in the caption and tagged in the post, is a partner at Snarkitecture, the New York City-based architecture and design collective that has created the look of other Kith stores for Fieg.
March 4, 2019: Merrell and Saucony are building stronger ties to Asian consumers. Parent company Wolverine World Wide Inc. announced it has entered into a joint venture with Chinese sportswear retailer Xtep International Holdings Ltd. As part of the deal, the partnership will involve growing Merrell and Saucony products in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Merrell and Saucony will also be introducing new stores in the region, with the majority set to open in shopping malls across major metropolitan cities in China as well as in neighboring Hong Kong and Macau.
Watch FN’s tour of Allbirds’ headquarters below.
Retail Intel: February 2019
Retail Intel: January 2019
Retail Intel: December 2018