Sports brands are opening up flagship stores and attracting more and more customers.
Despite the general trend of declining sales in the market segment and the flow of customers to online stores and various digital platforms, top sports brands are steadily increasing their profits and the number of customers in their stores. Analysts note that Nike, Puma, and Lululemon continue to demonstrate positive dynamics against the background of the general negative environment in the retail market, where many major players have to close the stores in bulk due to falling attendance.
California-based research company Placer.ai found that the number of visits to Nike Factory stores in July and August increased by 38% and 63%, respectively, compared to the traffic recorded in the summer months of 2017. Although Puma still lags behind the leader in the sports market in terms of customer numbers, its retail store traffic grew by 54% and 80%, respectively, during the reporting period. In single-brand stores of the American brand Lululemon, traffic increased by 40% and 44% respectively over the past two years.
Experts note that sportswear and footwear remain one of the most popular trends in the fashion segment. At the same time, brands mentioned above manage to grow in a complex environment due to the competitive positioning of flagship retail stores. Today, it is not only a place of sales but also a space to engage customers and increase their brand loyalty.
Nike, Puma, and Lululemon have recently been actively increasing market share. In particular, Nike, building on last year's success at its Melrose Avenue store in Los Angeles, added another store at Long Beach Marina and opened the long-awaited flagship at the new Nordstrom department store in New York. All this after the triumphant launch of the giant six-story "House of Innovation 000" in 2018.
Puma dared to open its first US flagship store in August, filled with technology and innovation, on 5th Avenue in New York City, a few minutes from Nike. Last year, Lululemon introduced its world's largest store in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, where, in addition to a 1,850-square-metre sales area, a restaurant, meditation rooms, and gyms for yoga and intensive interval training were opened. This year it was announced that the brand would develop branded stores in four different formats.