Will Foot Locker’s NYC Power Store play ball with Nike?
This fall, sneakerheads in New York City will have a new experiential retail spot to hang out, shop and even get a haircut.
Foot Locker will be opening its latest Power Store in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, according to SGB Media. The Power Store features not only a barber shop, but other experiential store attractions tailored to the sneakerhead lifestyle, such areas for gaming, sneaker cleaning, sneaker customizing and an event space with its own DJ. Foot Locker currently has five Power Store locations worldwide — including U.S. locations in Detroit and Philadelphia — with plans to expand the format to more than 200 stores by 2023.
The Power Store has emerged as a central part of the Foot Locker’s turnaround, as the once mall-centric shoe retailer continues to move away from its traditional locations and into large, standalone experiential stores with a focus on urban sneaker culture.
The Power Store may be a unique addition in the other U.S. markets where the chain has opened the concept, but it won’t be the only experiential outlet for sneakerheads in New York.
Toward the end of 2018, Nike opened its hotly-anticipated flagship store in Manhattan, as reported in Fast Company. The location features six floors of sneakerhead-focused attractions, many of which integrate with the chain’s smartphone app.
The dueling stores could put Foot Locker into more direct competition with one of its best sellers.
In mid-2018, RetailWire BrainTrust member Jason Goldberg pointed to Nike as one of the first vendors to compete directly with its retail channels through opening its own storefronts in the early 1990s. He further noted that in 2018, pre-turnaround Foot Locker sales were flat while Nike made 25 percent of its profit from direct sales.
While Foot Locker seems to have developed a good understanding of its target market that it’s now putting into practice, not all mall-based shoe retailers have been so successful in managing the shift in shopping habits. Payless, despite a headline-grabbing experiential marketing campaign toward the end of 2018, announced the closure of all its stores earlier this year.
- Foot Locker To Bring “Power Store” Concept To NYC – SGB Online
- Nike’s huge new flagship looks like the future of retail – Fast Company
- New Foot Locker concept is powered by local culture – RetailWire
- Retailers and brands collide – RetailWire
- Where did Payless go wrong? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What might Foot Locker have to do to make itself a unique offering for NYC sneakerheads? Will the Foot Locker Power Store and the Nike Flagship be able to coexist amicably?