- Bringing the concept to the U.S., sneaker brand New Balance has opened a new brick-and-mortar store in Boston, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
- Located at 124 Newbury Street, the store concept is focused on being a space for customers to convene. Featuring central seating spaces, its edited merchandise is curated so that “both an elite athlete and a fashion influencer can each envision their next great moment, side by side,” per the release.
- The store — open Sunday through Friday — is the second of its kind for New Balance. The first location opened in Guangzhou, China in December 2022.
New Balance's Newbury Street store is built to appeal to a younger audience.
“This store represents a big step forward in the way we think about our retail environment, featuring a much tighter, more focused collection built specifically for the younger consumer,” Ian Fitzpatrick, senior director of global brand strategy and operations at New Balance, said in a statement. “The space is not built to tell all our stories, just those most relevant to our consumers – a shift that reflects our intention to invite new audiences to discover the brand, maybe for the first time.”
The brand has also been experimenting in the augmented reality space, launching a partnership with Snapchat in December. The retailer released a Holiday Gifting Concierge lens on the social media app that used speech recognition to recommend users the best holiday gift for their recipient, and then unboxed it using AR.
New Balance joins a growing list of retailers focused on launching more unique store concepts to bolster direct-to-consumer offerings.
Wilson Sporting Goods opened two new Chicago locations in late 2022, with one of them including a full pickleball court and racket personalization services. Fashion company H&M transformed its Williamsburg location in New York City last month to focus on its new athletics line, the Move Empower Collection. Additionally, Nike opened its first physical shop dedicated to the Jordan brand in Milan in December, dubbed the “World of Flight” store.