New Balance Flagship
by Stephen Garner
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Athletic lifestyle brand New Balance has opened its first U.S. global flagship store at Boston Landing, a new retail experience rooted in performance and innovation, in Boston, Massachusetts. The 6,566 square-foot store located at 140 Guest Street in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood offers an immersive and interactive brand experience, including the brand’s Made.Boston demonstration and shoe assembly area.

Entering the store, consumers are surrounded by a large running impact display, communicating the brand’s authentic running heritage and showcasing premium head-to-toe performance running looks for men and women. Digital screens, including two large, curved screens descending from the ceiling, feature dynamic visuals of elite Team NB athletes, as well as images and videos that inspire and convey movement.

“We are excited to open this store in Boston Landing that pays tribute to our heritage and spirit, celebrates our innovation and sets a new precedent for the high standard of retail excellence we have established with our New Balance Experience Stores in Boston, New York, and Beijing among others,” said Rob DeMartini, president and CEO of New Balance. “This store invites residents and visitors to our home city to engage with our brand’s story and the passion of our associates.”

Anchoring the store at its center is the Made.Boston demonstration and shoe assembly area, where consumers have a front row seat as limited-edition 574’s are made right before their eyes. Shoes will go through the final steps in the assembly process within a cylindrical, glass-walled room, as Shoe Ambassadors describe the process and answer visitors’ questions in a theatrical spin on the typical manufacturing process.

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The store’s design features natural and industrial materials throughout such as wood, concrete and metal, which provide a neutral backdrop. As a nod to New Balance’s history of manufacturing in New England, the wall behind the cash wrap is made of metal fire doors from the Skowhegan, Maine factory where some of the brand’s Made In USA footwear is produced. Each global flagship store, six of which are slated to open this year, features a unique cash wrap display designed to pay homage to that city’s culture.

The brand’s first global flagship store opened this spring in Gangnam, South Korea, with San Francisco, London, Milan and Tokyo opening later this year.

“This store represents a huge shift for New Balance, and a real transformation of the retail experience for our consumers,” said Mark Johnson, global director of visual merchandising for New Balance. “We have created a space that allows for deeper engagement with consumers and athletes to facilitate clear, consistent storytelling that will truly elevate the energy and momentum behind our brand.”

To celebrate the opening of the store, on Wednesday, June 22, Team NB athletes Brock Holt and Christian Vazquez visited the store for a private event with five children from the West End House Boys and Girls Club in Allston, MA. The athletes helped the children pick out and try on new shoes, answered questions, and took photos. The New Balance Foundation supports the West End House through associate volunteerism and grants, including a $3 million grant given to the organization to commemorate the New Balance World Headquarters grand opening in September 2015.