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Reebok’s New Global Flagship Store in Boston has Three Stripe Flavor | Is It Enough?

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Building on the promise of the a better customer experience discussed by adidas NA Pres. Mark King, the Reebok store will be the home to an in store customization process for customers. Personalized shopping is the means by which every brand will elevate the consumer experience. What I find interesting here is that the language of the launch is unlike anything I’ve seen out of Reebok in the last year. Reebok has been pushing fitness via Crossfit. The company has been working hard at selling itself as a brand for athletes. The language about this store reads a lot different. There is still a focus on fitness:

But this is the description which sounds more like an adidas approach than the Reebok way:

 It’s a full brand experience. We want to encourage discovery, and we’re honoring our heritage of in-house shoe making with unprecedented on-site customization. This will also be THE location for exclusive, extremely limited editions of key styles, so we know this store will be a real destination for sneakerheads.”
The design of the Reebok Boston store is an update of the brand’s FitHub retail concept, which was introduced in 2012.  A key focus for the updated design was to seamlessly integrate the brand’s Classics range within its extensive fitness offering.
“Reebok is a fitness lifestyle brand. We have a deep heritage which is reflected in our Classics product, and we are laser focused on bringing the best, most innovative fitness product to market,” said Froio.   “This store design allows us to seamlessly bring together fashion and fitness in a unique way.
Reebok in the last year has lost their premier influencer in Kendrick Lamar to Nike. The brands push into Crossfit has been a constant issue as athletes haven’t been as accepting of the brand and other smaller players have been able to infiltrate (Heydey and NOBULL as well as York) and siphon away share leading to constant discounts of the brand. The Classics has really poor representation via rapper Future and for a brand that has adidas strength behind it, they were failing to connect to the sneakerhead community which in many ways drives the fashion and streetwear aspects of footwear in North America.
This store by description is built to convert fitness into fashion seamlessly by allowing for customization and ease of checkout via mobile platforms. The strongest aspect is the testing aspect. In this store the consumer will have the ability to test the product before purchasing.
In addition, product testing will be seamlessly integrated, with consumers able to test footwear prior to purchase in the store, in the surrounding neighborhood or at Reebok’s state-of-the-art fitness facility.
I few years back I predicted Reebok would be sold by adidas. What has happened instead has been a serious investment into the brand by the parent company. Do I see this as a positive?
No. Reebok is one of my favorite companies. I actually played college basketball in Reeboks. I had the Shroud Reebok with the hexalite cushioning and the zipper before I bought a pair of Jordans in the 90s. The brand has been careless with its classics. They have aligned themselves with Hip-Hop artists who don’t care about the brand; not just Kendrick Lamar, but Rick Ross and the Future arrangement does little for the brand. They have beat the Question into the ground with a gang of ridiculous colorways that have diminished any interest in the single best shoe the brand has made (for sneakerheads). They have failed to connect the history and storytelling to limited products. The site is still geared entirely around fitness. The Floatride Technology, which is awesome, hasn’t been integrated into classics to create a modernized classic with superior comfort and
This is getting ridiculous isn’t it?
I think this store is dope. I’d like to visit it. I think Reebok has potential, but the story is confusing and signing Teeyana Taylor and Ariana Grande is cute, but neither is Rihanna. Reebok needs an infusion of dopeness. The history is there but the “story” is cloudy.