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First Look: Puma opens massive brand flagship

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The race is on: Puma opened its first-ever North American flagship, at 609 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

The technology-infused, two-level 18,000-sq.-ft. store — Puma’s first in Manhattan — puts the brand in the same neighborhood as its rivals, Nike and Adidas, both of whom also have flagships on Fifth Avenue. The Puma store makes a dramatic brand statement, with double-height storefronts spanning across 160 feet of wraparound frontage.

The interior is modern and has plenty of open space. The space is designed to offer an immersive shopping experience, with sports “engagement” zones, a customization studio and digitally connected offerings. There is even a small coffee shop.

The store features Puma’s full range of products for men, women and kids, including lifestyle, basketball, motorsport, golf, performance, soccer and kids, along with some New York exclusive items. Shoppers can view products in alternate colors and styles through “magic mirrors” (iMirror by Nobal) that are placed throughout. The mirrors allow RFID product to bring up alternative selections based on the item the consumer tries on.

Customers can also interact with the iMirror to browse through Puma inventory using RFID. They can also request a certain style and size right from the iMirror, with the request going directly to a sales associate who will bring the requested items to them in the fitting room. In addition, the mirrors display information from Puma's social media channels while also acting as selfie stations. Users can take a selfie and add Puma stickers to their photos. They can email the photo to themselves or send it directly to Puma's social channels.

Puma is leveraging front- and back-end technology from Internet of Things (IoT) platform Evrythng and label solution provider Avery Denison Corp. to create a connected store experience in the flagship. Customers scan a QR code on a display sign with their smartphone when they enter the store. They can then access dynamic experiences by scanning a unique QR code on each displayed Puma product using their smartphones.

The QR code triggers an augmented reality (AR) experience featuring the Puma mascot, allowing customers to take a selfie with the mascot. For more on how RFID technology is used in the store, click here.

The flagship also features an array of interactive experiences:

• A Puma x You customization studio will feature new residencies with artists and designers every two weeks. Shoppers can customize and personalize Puma footwear, apparel and accessories using paints, dips, dyes, patchwork, embroidery, 3D-knitting, laser printing, pinning, material upcycling and other creative mediums.

• Highlighting Puma’s involvement with racing and motorsports, visitors can hop into professional-grade F1 racing simulators and virtually race down the streets of New York City.

• Soccer fans can test the latest Puma boots on the in-store simulator that mimics the pitch of San Siro Stadium while being virtually coached by the company’s brand ambassadors and professional footballers.

• Shoppers can relax in the basketball zone, which features stadium seating and large screen NBA 2K gaming experience. The basketball zone is also going to feature state-of-the-art technology including QR codes located on all products.

“Puma is thrilled to open its first flagship in New York City, in a prime Manhattan location, that will allow us to connect with both our U.S. and international customers," said Bjoern Gulden, CEO, of PUMA SE. "I believe investing in this new store—in one of the fastest-paced cities in the world—will help us in our pursuit to be the fastest sports brand in the world. We're committed to pushing the boundaries of sports, fashion and technology, and this store is the latest manifestation of that commitment.
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