- Foot Locker is opening its redesigned midtown Manhattan flagship store, with new features, including large digital signs displaying images of shoes, along with social media feeds mentioning the brand.
- As Foot Locker continues a push to build stronger connections with women customers, one section in its store is devoted to showcasing emerging fashions for women. There's also NYC33, an experiential area next to the store with its own entrance, which will host fashion shows and other events.
- Foot Locker now has more than 3,400 stores under its own name as well as many others using the names FootAction, Champs Sports, and the new women-focused SIX:02, among others. It’s making a bid to grow annual sales from $7.4 billion last year to $10 billion through 2020.
The athleisure sector has seen its ups and downs this year, with Sports Authority failing, several athleisure retailers treading rough financial waters and even premier athleisure retailer Lululemon declaring the sector over-saturated. Well, maybe all of those examples are downs rather than ups, but on the bright side, many retailers in the athleisure market keep pressing forward with new ideas and fresh methods of connecting with customers.
Under Armour’s hiring of a top-notch designer as its new creative director was one example of that, and Foot Locker’s redesign of its flagship store, as well the addition of showcase space next door, is another. These brands may be feeling that in a crowded athleisure market, you can win by continuing to push the style envelope, and define style for the rest of the market.
A big part of Foot Locker’s push for bigger sales hinges on engaging the female segment of the market in a stronger way. In its space adjacent to the midtown Manhattan store, it’s already planning to hold fashion shows featuring Rihanna's upcoming Fenty collection for Puma, which includes $600 capes and $200 sweatshirts. The redesigned store also features an area called The Collection at SIX:02 that aims to serve as a kind of lab that showcases emerging fashions for women.
With SIX:02, Foot Locker is gunning directly for Lululemon, Athleta and similar competitors, trying to out-do them at a game they helped create. As some athleisure brands fail, and others try to move beyond a crowded market, can Foot Locker run with the Under Armours of the world? We’ll soon find out, as the reception this flagship redesign gets will tell us whether or not that $10 billion sales goal is realistic.