- Following key leadership promotions, The Athlete’s Foot has debuted its neighborhood concept store in midtown Atlanta, Georgia, the retailer announced on Monday.
- The retailer said it has expanded more partnerships with Polo Sports, Tacchini, PRPS, Market Gudlyfe and other high-end streetwear brands, according to the announcement.
- The location opened with live performances by Baby Tate, a sneaker customization class with Adidas footwear designer Aric Armon and Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Georgia Rep. Mesha Mainor, per the press release.
More athletic retailers are experimenting with local store concepts. Long before The Athlete’s Foot unveiled its Atlanta storefront, Nike introduced its first Nike Live concept, called Nike by Melrose, in Los Angeles in 2018. Though localized stores are meant to help retailers learn more about their customers' tastes, it can be challenging to implement them correctly, Matt Sargent, senior vice president of retail for Magid, told Retail Dive.
“We are thrilled to open our first neighborhood store in our hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, the heart of the south’s streetwear and sneaker culture,” Matt Lafone, president and general manager of Americas, said in a statement. “Our new store concept will pay tribute to the city’s character and our deep southern roots while showcasing local brands and designers and will serve as a hub for community-based events and philanthropic initiatives.”
In addition to Nike and The Athlete’s Foot, department stores also jumped on the trend in recent years. Nordstrom opened a 3,000-square-foot showroom in Los Angeles’ West Hollywood neighborhood in 2017. Last year, Kohl’s announced plans to open 100 smaller locations over the next four years with the goal of generating more than $500 million in sales. Even Macy’s detailed plans to open smaller stores and distance itself from malls.
Besides The Athlete’s Foot opening a localized store concept, the retailer has made some leadership changes to continue its progress from 2022. The company appointed Darius Billings as its new vice president of marketing, community engagement and its Strategic African American Retail Track program, a role he took on after spending 15 years there. It also promoted Cassidy Dansberry to become its new marketing manager.