An international streetwear retailer is bringing an experiential new store to the heart of urban culture in New York City.
After postponing the launch of its “2.0 concept store,” Snipes is putting the finishing touches on a Brooklyn outpost across from the Barclays Center, where luminaries like Jay-Z and Beyonce hold court while the hometown Brooklyn Nets host NBA rivals under non-pandemic circumstances.
Though Cologne, Germany-based Snipes has established a sizable brick-and-mortar footprint in the U.S. outside of the more than 200 stores it operates across Europe, the location opening on July 9 in the “cradle of sneaker and streetwear culture,” as CEO Sven Voth puts it, evolves beyond the transactional store experience to offer what the company describes as a “neighborhood hub.” Consumers shopping the soon-to-launch store’s curated selection of products from Jordan, Puma, Ethika, Nike, Converse, New Balance and more will encounter an array of digital LED screens showcasing “the latest stories, styles and releases,” according to Snipes.
And visitors to the grand opening on launch day will be treated to a virtual appearance by a celebrity icon. In addition to product giveaways from brands including New Era, The North Face and “rebel backpack company” Sprayground, music executive and newly christened chief creative officer DJ Khaled will be beamed in to fete the occasion and offer up a pair of his “Father of Asahd” Air Jordan 3 sneakers to a lucky winner.
In a statement, Khaled offered up his gratitude for fans who have continued “supporting my Snipes family during these tough times,” an acknowledgement perhaps of the original March timing for the concept store’s planned debut. Months after Snipes scrapped the launch, it is now able to open its Brooklyn doors, with newly instituted health protocols designed to protect consumers amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We have floor separator signs, cash wrap sneeze/cough guards, sanitizers, etc,” Snipes head of marketing Adam Herstig told Sourcing Journal. “We are also communicating with digital signage.”
Visitor occupancy will be capped at 50 percent of the space’s usual allowance while consumers are required to wear a face mask or covering in order to enter and encouraged to maintain six-foot distances from other shoppers.
New York City is home to many a sneaker emporium, from Stadium Goods and Urban Necessities to Foot Locker-backed Flight Club. Now, Snipes is injecting its own point of view into the mix even as the a virus thought to be more or less under control is rearing its head around the country and continuing to challenge retail foot traffic.
“We are so proud to debut what new retail looks like to us,” Herstig said. “Although we are opening this store during a difficult time, we are still very excited as we continue allowing brands we carry to tell their stories while providing a space for the community to shop safely.”
At a time when consumers have spent weeks away from their regular social lives, many might be itching for the connection that convening at a new cultural watering hole could provide.
“We are so appreciative of all the communities we serve,” Khaled said, “and we will always do our best to have a positive impact there and provide a fun and safe place to shop.”