My hand was shaking too hard during this video but it’s worth a watch. The Vault is the only sneaker boutique in Memphis with a Nike account. Summit, which I visited to do the Clearweather video is another but it’s more apparel than sneakers. Superior, another sneaker boutique in Memphis owned by Village Mart, has a large sneaker offering, but without a Nike account it’s hard to really consider them as a serious sneaker shop although they do have a solid adidas account. They are also catering to an urban market which leaves a big gap in their ability to sell to sneaker people who aren’t in their teens and twenties and don’t listen to trap rap.
The Vault did a redesign of the store recently and it’s nice. The store doesn’t have an independent website and I think that’s a huge mistake. The Vault should function independent of its City Gear parent.
Right now The Vault functions in conjunction with City Gear. When you look for the website there isn’t one. If they launched a content based site for The Vault and allowed the managers and sales leads to run the social media and do posts and updates it could be unlike any store in this region. More important they would have the opportunity to create an omnichannel experience where customers could order online and pick up in store, and the independent website would allow for discussion of the drops in the shop. The store has a solid collection of Saucony, but there isn’t any marketing for Saucony, Puma, Reebok, New Balance, or ASICS in the store. There isn’t any matching apparel for the brands. The urban apparel account undercuts the potential for the store to cater to more than one market and that hurts the spot because the apparel is urban, but the footwear is straight up sneaker boutique.
There is a lot of opportunity with the shop. One of the viewers on YT commented that it’s a store that looks like UAS would be perfect for it… right now the shop is a bit too urban to successfully pull off UAS but if they shifted the apparel a bit the store would be better and the move from a Nike dominated wall would have a real chance to succeed.
The arrangement of the store is what’s important here. The store is one of the only City Gear locations not completely reliant on a Nike wall and that’s a really big deal. It’s extremely risky in a Nike town, but it can work. Check out the video below.