Under Armour, New York City

The athletic performance-wear giant known for its commitment to innovation goes big in Manhattan, opening its newest and largest “brand house” location to date. With 10,000 sq. ft. of selling space, the store immerses customers in the Under Armour mystique and houses its most comprehensive assortment of men's, women's and children’s apparel, footwear and equipment in the country. (The “brand house” designation is given to Under Armour’s full-line retail stores, with innovation, specialization and personalization the defining elements, as opposed to its larger network of outlet stores.)

Entering the store, customers are greeted by a huge video wall, made up of over two million LED lights, that plays a 22-minute continuous loop of video highlighting products and Under Armour-affiliated athletes engaging in sporting activities. Bold, oversized photos drive home the brand’s performance positioning.

The first floor houses men’s and women’s non-running apparel. Each of the fitting rooms is modeled after a different court or stadium, and each has a name that reflects a locale where the brand has a presence. Large murals of cities cover the walls.  

The lower level is home to the children’s area and men’s and women’s running merchandise. It also houses the company’s first Rowhouse Basement shop (the name is a reference to the company's founding in the basement of the Georgetown home of CEO Kevin Plank's grandmother). It’s designed to serve as a VIP area where staff provide private consultations to athletes and celebrity clientele in an intimate setting.

With five U.S. locations to date, Under Armour’s “brand house” model was not created for mass roll out. Instead, the company intends to focus on “key markets where we can be strategic,” CEO Plank told investors in a recent conference call.

Creative advisory services for store layout and design: a + 1 design corp., New York City

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