Above: Inside adidas' NYC Flagship store. Images: adidas
Last month, adidas opened brand new digs in New York City, just a few blocks from Times Square on 5th Ave. Aside from being a massive closet designed to house it's merch offerings, the space also acts as sprawling stadium-style experience. The global flagship is four floors, including a lower level, and measures 45,000 square feet. That makes it the German sportswear company's largest store in the world, and signifies the brand's increased focus on the US market.
According to The Street , Adidas is also focusing on New York as part of its "key city" plan. "We wanted to focus on elevating the brand in key cities, and New York City is a great place to start because it's a sport and fashion intersection," said Claire Midwood, Senior VP of Concepts to Consumer.
For me, the store was an experience from entry to exit. Featurimg a design the company calls its "stadium retail concept", the entrance to the store mimics the tunnels athletes typically walk through to get to the field, and between the first and second level, school-style bleachers are set up overlooking 5th Ave and shoppers can sit next to a lifesize bronze statue of adidas founder Adi Dassler as they watch the action on the street scene or live games on surrounding TVs.
Other features in the store include a stall selling juices and snacks, a personal fitness consultation area, and a Mi Adidas customization area for both shoes and clothing. The store has "locker rooms" to try on product, and areas called "The Turf" and "The Track" to test out sneakers before purchase.
After a slight peruse, I made my way to Level 2 - the Women's section. All of our favorite adidas finds were accounted for, including Originals like the Stan Smith and Superstar and new performance products like the Ultra-Boost, as well as new collaborations like Stella McCartney for Adidas and three stripe's expansive partnership with Parley Ocean Plastic. Every mannequin in store, as well as their special collaborative sneaker, was made out of recycled ocean plastic to increase sustainability.
Also on the second floor was the running track. One of the most interesting things about the mini track that covered roughly 1/3 of the store was the almost dare-like quality with which adidas associates encouraged us to try out the shoes. Utilizing the Run Genie, a system that uses two sensors and an iPad app to provide gait analysis for runners who test on the track, customers were given the opportunity to try out adidas' patented BOOST technology in order to find their perfect shoe based on data collected during a quick running session in store.
Once the Run Genie pods are attached to your shoes and you've hit at least 46 strides, adidas' system compiles data with the degrees and angles at which you foot strikes the ground. Depending on the results, Run Genie recommends a specific shoe model that would be fit your needs.
Our trip into adidas land rounded out with a trip to the print station where one could grab special screen printed tees designed by local NYC artists as well as a few freebie adidas stickers complete with retro silhouettes.
If you're in NYC and would like to see the store for yourself, take a train into the city and head to 565 Fifth Avenue at 46th Street.