Visitors to Puma's 18,000 square-foot store can customize their clothes, shoes and accessories with paints, dips, dyes, patchwork, embroidery, 3D-knitting, laser printing, pinning and material upcycling, according to a Puma press release. Shoppers can also see products in different colors and styles through iMirror by NOBAL throughout the store and press a button to notify an associate they need help at the mirror.
Labor Day weekend the store will launch Chinatown Market University, where shoppers can use Chinatown Market's printing technology to customize their Puma merchandise. They can also get into professional-grade F1 motorsports racing simulators and race down New York City streets, the company noted in the press release.
Soccer fans can take advantage of an in-store simulator, which mimics the playing field at San Siro Stadium, to test out the latest Puma boots and be virtually coached from professional soccer players Antoine Griezmann and Romelu Lukaku. Meanwhile, basketball fans can take part in the stadium seating and large screen NBA2K gaming experience, which will feature high-end technology such as QR codes for each product.
More than a year after Kering's board of directors voted to shed Puma to focus on its luxury sales, the activewear brand continues to grow through its investments in technology and celebrity partnerships.
In the past year or so, the company has enlisted Jay-Z as its creative director and launched the Clyde Court #REFORM sneaker to assist rapper Meek Mill's criminal justice reform efforts and Olympian Tommie Smith's universal equality advocacy.
Puma has also stepped up its technological capabilities in its products and advertising. Earlier this month, the company introduced a geo-targeted out-of-home (OOH) campaign, which displayed ads programmatically to screens on top of taxis and ride-share vehicles. Back in February, the company debuted its training shoe that can tie itself.
The opening of the flagship store follows a broader retail trend of infusing experiences into their stores, joining retailers and brands like Macy's and Nike in offering fresh concepts to shoppers. (Its competitor, Nike, also opened a flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City last year.) Puma continued to prosper after its owners divested from the brand, and it appears that this latest flagship store is an effort to keep the brand relevant.