New Balance has brought its “Experience” format to North America, opening a 4,000-sq.-ft. space in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.
The store is designed to reflect the heritage and spirit of the century-old brand -- and drive home its commitment to domestic craftsmanship (New Balance says it is the only athletic brand to manufacture shoes in the United States). To that end, part of the upfront space is devoted to a glass-enclosed area where shoemakers from the company’s Maine factory can be seen assembling sneakers (specifically, the No. 880 running shoe). Each pair is sold in a special “Assembled in NYC” bag that is stamped with the edition number and date made. The store also features a live video feed from New Balance’s manufacturing floor during work hours.
The store has a modern look and restored original brick walls and floor-to-ceiling columns are combined with an updated red and grey color scheme and vibrant product photography. A ceiling treatment, described as a “brand DNA ribbon,” extends 60 ft. from the entrance to the back of the store. Using vintage and modern images, it serves as a timeline of New Balance’s past, present and future.
Shoppers can try out shoes on a two-lane running track that runs along one of the perimeter walls. The track also features a sunken-in treadmill for gait/form analysis. Product images, brand videos and real time brand content are projected in four distinct areas of the store.
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