As brands begin to build more doors to distribute their product in the US, the international market is seeing even more growth as the battle for the feet of people in Japan and China heats up. ASICS is taking the fight to Nike and adidas with flagship stores that cater to personalization opportunities for customers who visit. Their new store in Osaka features an element which allows for a customer to customize a pair of the Mexico 66 Deluxe shoes in store. The feature will only be available for the first two days:
To celebrate the new openings, on March 10th and 11th, for just two days, Onitsuka Tiger Omotesando Nippon Made will offer a special NIPPON MADE Custom-order service not available anywhere else.
In a recent article I discussed how retail footwear stores in the US are facing a disruptive force in the technology being utilized in brand stores. While this limited feature for ASICS is available for two days, you can definitely believe that it if the service performs well it will become a staple for the brand in their international doors. The customer will be able to choose from premium Nippon leather in designing their 66.
The merchandising in the store is compartmentalized. The first floor features footwear. The second floor features apparel. This sectioning creates an opportunity to utilize store employees in a more dedicated fashion allowing a more professional approach with sales associates who have an in depth knowledge of their area. While US stores tend to shove footwear around the store with apparel in the middle creating issues with loss prevention and creating awkward displays that hinder the flow of customers in and out of the retail spaces, this merchandising plan allows for a better shopping experience.
This is something US stores should take the time to look at as retail has to shift towards a more seamless customer experience.