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Photo: Champion
Photo: Champion
Photo: Champion
Photo: Champion
Photo: Champion
STORE SPACES

First Look: Champion, Los Angeles

BY Marianne Wilson

Champion Athleticwear, the nearly 100-year-old iconic athletic apparel brand, has opened its first-ever U.S. store, in Los Angeles.

Located in the city’s flourishing La Brea District, the outpost features onsite customization, allowing shoppers to design one-of-a-kind Champion garments tailored to their specific preferences, exclusive specialized product assortments not available anywhere else, and frequent product drops from the company’s global lines. Regional collections inspired by the Southern California area locale will also be available and will include exclusive styles, colors and partnerships with local influencers.

The store’s design is inspired by Champion’s sportswear heritage but interpreted in a modern way, mirroring how the brand continuously reinvents its classic and iconic products. Key materials reference the brand’s authentic American athletic wear positioning, and include reclaimed basketball-court hardwoods, gym lockers and metal mesh (like the mesh fabric Champion pioneered).

“The store will showcase not only our iconic pieces, such as Reverse Weave, but also our heritage and key moments in time, further illustrating our brand’s unique identity,” said David Robertson, director brand Champion brand marketing. “We truly believe in our mantra that ‘it takes a little more to make a Champion’ and we’ve transformed this concept into a reality with this store.”

Champion, which is owned by Hanesbrand, has been enjoying a renaissance recently, with new collections and embraced by such models and social media stars as Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner.

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Footwear retailer makes China debut

BY Marianne Wilson

Sam Edelman has taken its brand to Asia.

The company is opening three shops in China, with locations in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Chengdu, with luxury retailer Lane Crawford. The stores will serve as an immersive and authentic brand experience for consumers.

Sam Edelman said its New York-based design team worked closely with Lane Crawford to create spaces reflective of its own U.S. retail stores. The stores will include such elements of Sam Edelman’s iconic aesthetic as vintage furniture, reclaimed wood walls, inlayed gold accents, and pops of the brand’s signature shade of green.

When asked why the brand chose Lane Crawford to debut its first shops in Hong Kong and China, Sam Edelman, designer, founder and president of Sam Edelman, said, “The incredible team at Lane Crawford were some of the first people to recognize and support me as a designer and they helped build my business more than a decade ago.”

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STORE SPACES

Walmart rolling out high-tech ‘pick-up towers’

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is expanding its modern-day — and oversized — version of a vending machine — but the new model will come with an addition.

The discounter plans to add more than 500 additional “pickup towers” to stores across the country, bringing the total to more than 700 by the end of the year. Walmart said the response to the existing 200 kiosks has been “overwhelming positive,” with more than half a million orders retrieved since the chain first introduced them.

Based on customer feedback, the new towers will come with pickup lockers, which will allow customers to retrieve large items, such as TVs.

“Our customers have been clear: They love the Pickup Tower. But, they also told us they wanted the ability to retrieve larger items the same way,” stated Walmart in a blog on its website.

The pickup tower — which stands 16 ft. tall and about 8 ft. wide — greets shoppers at store entrances. After placing their online order, customers receive a barcode on their digital receipt. Upon entering the store, customers scan their barcode via their smartphone on the kiosk’s digital scanner to retrieve their order. The process takes less than a minute.

With the expansion, pickup towers will be available to nearly 40% of the U.S. population, Walmart said.

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