The new Nordstrom Men’s store, opening April 12 at Columbus Circle in New York City, will feature a Stadium Goods concept space featuring that retailer’s most sought after sneakers, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
Stadium Goods says the curated selection will by design face a high level of merchandising turnover to keep it fresh and up to date.
The announcement comes after Stadium Goods snagged an undisclosed infusion from the investment arm of luxury conglomerate LVMH, and as the Nordstrom family got word that the board of directors would no longer entertain their bid to take the company private.
Nordstrom’s arrival in New York City, where it’s still working on its first ever full-line flagship store, is the talk of the town. A women’s store is slated to open at the same location in fall 2019, Nordstrom executives said earlier this month.
Getting things rolling with the men’s store is likely a reflection of the category’s sales — that and kids in particular fueled a fourth quarter net sales rise of 6.4% and same-store sales rise of 2.4%, in flagship stores, online and for Trunk Club, the company said earlier this month.
The Stadium Goods partnership, a nod to Nordstrom’s roots as a shoe store, is just one in a line of efforts that have helped the department store entice younger customers and guard against promotions.
The partnership also gets Nordstrom into the hot sneaker arena, where streetwear style is looming ever larger. Leisure style sales grew 17% and captured $9.6 billion in sales last year, while, on the performance side, running shoe sales fell 7% and training sales declined 15%, according to a report emailed to Retail Dive from NPD Group. Overall, performance sales declined 10% to $7.4 billion, a rate that has accelerated for the last two years, according to NPD, suggesting the athleisure bubble is far from bursting.
"Sneakers have disrupted fashion and are now being mixed with everyday looks from desk to dinner," Kristin Frossmo, Nordstrom general merchandise manager for shoes said in a statement.
Stadium Goods' LVMH partnership and now its tie-up with Nordstrom distinguish Stadium Goods in what has been a rarified and hungry market, which includes resale of limited edition and in-demand releases as well as those leisure styles. In February, digital sneaker marketplace GOAT announced a merger with sneaker consignment retailer Flight Club, along with a new funding round of $60 million. Online sneaker marketplace StockX a year ago also attracted $6 million in funding from an array of celebrity investors.
Nordstrom isn't the only one turning to the market for attention and sales. Zappos, for example, unveiled a retail concept last year highlighting classic sneakers, with a dedicated website landing page and pop-ups in New York. Also last year, Lululemon launched three sneaker styles with Athletic Propulsion Labs and Adidas reclaimed the number two spot among the three big players in part thanks to its focus on urban aesthetics and streetwear.