• Fashion United/ By Simone Preuss

In pictures: Puma’s first North American flagship store in New York City

Just in time for Labor Day weekend, German sportswear company Puma opened the doors to its first North American flagship store yesterday, located at 609 Fifth Avenue in New York City. It focuses on cutting-edge technology and products, showcasing an immersive brand experience through innovative sports engagement zones, a customization studio and digitally connected offerings. During opening weekend - August 29 through September 2 - visitors can experience events including in-store performances, fitness activations and exclusive opening weekend merchandise.

The flagship store is spread over 18,000 square feet (close to 1,700 square meters) on two floors and features an interactive retail space with state-of-the-art double-height storefronts across 160 feet (almost 49 meters) of wraparound frontage. It carries the full range of Puma products including lifestyle, basketball, motorsport, golf, performance, soccer and kids.

“Puma is thrilled to open its first flagship in New York City, in a prime Manhattan location, that will allow us to connect with both our US and international customers,” commented Puma CEO Bjoern Gulden in a press release published on Thursday. “I believe investing in this new store—in one of the fastest paced cities in the world—will help us in our pursuit to be the fastest sports brand in the world. We’re committed to pushing the boundaries of sports, fashion and technology, and this store is the latest manifestation of that commitment.”

Puma has partnered with renowned artists and designers to bring its exclusive PUMA x YOU customization studio to the store where consumers can customize and personalize Puma footwear, apparel and accessories using paints, dips, dyes, patchwork, embroidery, 3D-knitting, laser printing, pinning, material upcycling, and many other creative mediums. New artist residencies begin every two weeks — including collaboration partners like Sue Tsai, BWOOD, Maria Jahnkoy, Même. and Pintrill, with additional artists that the company plans to announce later this year.

Local brand Chinatown Market University, known for encapsulating the spirit of Canal Street, will kick-off the customization studio and share state-of-the-art printing technology with store patrons as well as teach classes around various DIY and customization methods. “Beyond the flagship store, Chinatown Market University, a program being launched in collaboration with Puma, will pop up in various forms through 2020,” promises the brand.

But that is not all - the new flagship store also offers professional-grade racing simulators that allow motorsport fans to virtually race down the streets of New York City. Consumers can also test the latest Puma boots on the in-store simulator that mimics the pitch of San Siro Stadium, while being virtually coached by Puma brand ambassadors and professional footballers Antoine Griezmann and Romelu Lukaku.

Basketball fans can enjoy the store’s stadium seating and large screen NBA2K gaming experience in the basketball zone, which will feature QR codes on all products for easy access. Throughout the store, customers can view products in alternate colors and styles through iMirror by NOBAL, which also allows them to notify a sales associate in case they need help or want to sign up for in-store events.

“Puma continues to see solid growth within North America and this new store reaffirms our commitment to this important market,” said Bob Philion, president of Puma North America. “From visitors that come to experience this iconic city to lifelong New Yorkers, we’re excited to open our doors in a vibrant and diverse community that aligns with our ‘Forever Faster’ mentality.”


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