Those NBs recently caught up with Jeremy McKenna who is the owner of Persona. Persona has two physical locations, the flagship store in New Hampshire and the newest location in Boston. Jeremy breaks down client buying trends and why he carry New Balance in both locations. Read below for the full interview. (Photos provided by Persona)
How do you feel about the current state of the sneaker game in NH?
Considering it was almost non existent when we first started out in 2008, the culture to which we love is making tremendous headway out here these days. Clients seem to be searching out and staying up with releases more than before, and we’re also seeing a major shift over to brands such as NB from our younger clientele, with the big surge in running silhouettes trending lately. We knew it would take time to build a buzz and a scene for premium footwear here, but we have been able to over the years grow the culture and interest here for these types of products and styles and continue to do so.
What do you feel is the most important part of a New Balance shoe? Why?
Timeless designs met with top material choices. I’ve always viewed New Balance as a classic American brand who doesn’t need to change much, as the formula they’ve created for producing footwear continues to work year after year. Between the quality, comfort and simplicity of the designs is what makes NB a great shoe and brand in my opinion.
Why is it important to carry New Balance at your store?
Local customers know the brand and it has a great, long reputation as a staple footwear brand in the New England area. I also feel it’s important to carry NB as it’s one of very few brands still producing any of their line in the US, which makes them the clear ethical choice for most New Englander’s, whom tend to appreciate made local and made in the US products.
What is the best selling New Balance at your store?
It varies season to season, but the 574 is our strongest model day in day out. However the more premium models such as 998’s, 997’s, 1300’s, and 1500’s have all been doing very well for the lifestyle and toper tier models. What’s nice about New Balance is we’re able to cater to core clients with models like 574’s and our more conscious heads will only buy into the top tier models, such as Made in UK’s and Made in USA models and collabs, allowing us to drive various types of clients through the doors.
How long have you carried New Balance at your store?
Since 2008 when we opened our doors, they were one of the first brands on the wall and have continued to be one of our top sellers year in year out. We were big fans of the brand since we were young, and were onto NB lifestyle models before the resurge of runners. I feel it is an essential brand to have and provides a diverse product mix and price points.
How do you feel about the number of NB being released in the last year or so?
Overall I feel it’s a good thing for the brand. They have a great read on how to release product in the lifestyle categories, and how to work with they’re key stores on limited launches, keeping the product only in the right stores and not over distributing the products. I also feel timing is more right than ever for the running heritage brand as runners have been unstoppable this past few seasons.
What do you take into account when choosing a New Balance shoe for your store?
Color way, Materials, production and pricing.
What do you see New Balance doing differently than other brands?
While other brands are known for innovation NB is continuing to show why they’re a top name in footwear by re-producing vaulted styles and resurge them into today’s market, such as the 997 this past year. Not every brand can take a shoe from the 80’s or 90’s and make it relevant today, but NB continues to kill it in this department. I also feel they’re path to collaborations has been more refined and interesting than other brands currently, from who they work with to the final production of each concept.
Can we expect any new collaborations with New Balance and your store?
I can’t speak on this currently but us both being local brands I can see something in our futures together, you’ll have to stay tuned, however we are in the design process for a few upcoming projects.
Any last thoughts or comments on New Balance you want to leave us with?
Follow our website shop-persona.com and our Instagram @personaboutique for release info on New Balance models and much more.