Puma opens first North American flagship in New York
German sportswear brand Puma has opened its very first North American flagship store in New York City.
Opened on Thursday and located at 609 Fifth Avenue, the two-story flagship covers a whopping 18,000 square feet, and features a wide range of the brand’s apparel, footwear and accessories.
Inside, customers can find a wide range of interactive technology, including F1 racing simulators and an ‘iMirror’ made by tech company NOBAL that allows customers to view products in alternate colors and styles.
The flagship also features the Puma x You customization studio, where shoppers can customize Puma items using paints, dips, dyes, patchwork, embroidery, 3D-knitting, laser printing, pinning and material upcycling, among other options, the brand said.
As an added boost, the studio will host a variety of artist residencies that are set to change every two weeks, with featured collaborators including Sue Tsai, BWood, Maria Jahnkoy and Pintrill.
"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 U.S. and international customers," said Bjoern Gulden chief executive officer of Puma.
"We're committed to pushing the boundaries of sports, fashion and technology, and this store is the latest manifestation of that commitment."
The flagship will kick off its calendar of special attractions on Labor Day weekend with the launch of Chinatown Market University, a program made in collaboration with New York City’s cult-favorite streetwear brand, Chinatown Market.
According to the brand, the program will allow visiting shoppers to customize Puma products using Chinatown Market's own printing technology, and will give customers access to DIY and customization classes with the Chinatown Market team. Outside of the holiday weekend, Chinatown Market University is set to pop up in various forms through 2020, the brand said.
"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.
The store opening is a sign that Puma is upping its game against its behemoth competitors, both within the sportswear market and on Fifth Avenue itself. The new flagship is situated alongside brands like Nike and Adidas, with the delayed opening of an Under Armour flagship also to be located on the same famous street.
The flagship’s arrival follows a strong second quarter for the German brand, thanks in part to its successful return to the U.S. basketball market and a deal with English Premier League champions Manchester City. Puma shares have risen almost 40% in the past year, and increased by 6.5% to a record high for the quarter.
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