Courtesy of American Eagle
- American Eagle is partnering with trendy resale brand Urban Necessities to bring expensive sneakers to one of its New York stores.
- As of Saturday, March 9, American Eagle customers will be able to shop the Urban Necessities pop-up at its Soho location.
- This new partnership allows American Eagle to appeal to the next generation of sneaker-loving customers who are also sustainability minded in their purchases.
American Eagle has a plan to win over the next generation of shoppers, and it involves expensive sneakers.
Starting March 9, customers at American Eagle’s Soho store in New York will be able to shop the new Urban Necessities pop-up. Urban Necessities, which hails from Las Vegas, is a trendy resale sneaker store that sells special-edition sneakers from brands that include Nike, Adidas, and Supreme. The collection at American Eagle will feature sneakers that cost between $150 and $50,000.
The new partnership allows American Eagle to not only appeal to the "sneakerheads" among Gen Z shoppers but also plays into their values, like making more sustainability-minded purchases by buying clothes or footwear second hand.
"It’s a huge win," Chad Kessler, American Eagle’s global brand president, told Business Insider. "We are excited about the opportunity to pair our great jeans with the coolest sneakers out there." Kessler hopes this will become a permanent pop-up; it has a year-long trial period.
While American Eagle is one of the few legacy brands to have experienced strong growth over the past year and avoided mass stores closings, it still faces the challenge of keeping its stores relevant and exciting. This is exactly what it hopes to do through this partnership.
"I am not sure everyone is in the market for a $50,000 sneaker," Kessler said. But "I am sure lots of people will be dying to come to the store and check them out." Once customers are in store, the hope is that they’ll then shop American Eagle too.
"People are looking for experiences and looking to interact with a product," he said.
Other brands are making similar strides to create engaging spaces that give customers more reasons to visit their stores.
Nordstrom and Nike are good examples of this. Last year, Nordstrom opened its new men’s-only flagship store in New York. This is a micro version of its full-line department stores but offers a selection of services including in-house tailoring and shoe-shining, in addition to physical areas like a restaurant and bar, which encourage customers to visit and return.
Nike also opened a new flagship store in New York at the end of 2018, which has the largest collection of Nike shoes for sale in the world, another good reason to visit.
The store of the future needs to be "something that stands out, connects with customers and gives them something to talk about," Jaime Bettencourt, senior vice president of business development at Mood Media, told Business Insider over e-mail.
A store that "bring a brand’s true personality to life," she said.
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