Located in the Flatiron District (5th and 20th) of New York City, the New Balance Flagship Store offers all things essential for the sneaker enthusiast as well as the well seasoned runner. Check the video above to see our time at he flagship store. The video showcases the layout of the store, products, shoe testing capabilities and how a New Balance 574 is finished. We caught up with Anthony Hernandez (Assistant Store Manager) to pick his brain about the flagship store and what it has to offer.
What is the History of the New York New Balance flagship store?
New Balance New York is the company’s first flagship store. Taking a huge step into the big apple, we made our presence known on 5th Avenue in August 2011 and we’ve been up and running ever since.
What does the New York store offer that other stores dont?
Interactive customer experience, we’re proud to say we’re the only store in the US with a demonstration area in a retail space. Yes, we assemble shoes in the store. 1 out of 4 shoes are made in the US. We hired Shanon from the Skowhegan, Maine Factory to work in the retail space and her passion for making these shoes keeps us going every day.
Can you take us through the fitting for a running shoe?
Well the first thing would be is figuring out what exactly you are using it for, whether it’s training for marathon or just to stay in shape. After that we would sit and fit the customer to get an accurate size. In providing 2-3 options, we look to find you a pair you are satisfied with.
Why is it important to have proper fitting shoes?
Some runners don’t realize that they’re wearing running shoes that are actually too small for them. If your toes are crammed in the front of the shoe, you could experience foot problems such as black toenails, blisters, or foot numbness.
What machines do you use to measure runners?
There’s our foot scanner in which measures the pressure points of your foot and your arches and also our treadmill in the back of the store where you can test the shoes out.
What does the store strives to do?
We’re all about making the customers happy, comfortable, satisfied, and paying attention to their needs opposed to just selling a shoe.
Where is the store is going?
The store has many plans in the works that we hope to execute this year making it more diverse. A couple of events and contests have been planned out and will soon be launching. There’s a social media contest launching soon so make sure you check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. Also, back in March 2012 we held a Sneakerhead Event at the store, a second Sneakerhead Event is in the works for this Spring/Summer and we’re looking to feature some of the best lifestyle product.
Do you have any other stores in New York and what they offer?
We actually do. In November 2012, we opened up a small retail space in Washington Heights within the Armory Track and Field Center in which caters to runners. This past weekend we hosted the New Balance Indoor Nationals which was a huge success. Customized bookbags, customized glasses, glitter tattoos, raffles, customized product for winners, giveaways, live instagram image printing, and a live DJ is a just an idea of what went down this weekend. Over 4,000 high school athletes attended with their parents and family. It was an insane weekend to say the least.
Any last thoughts on New Balance and the store?
As a brand, we continue to look at new ways to innovative but different from everybody. Needless to say, you will see some interesting things coming up here and there in 2013. Stay tuned!