When it comes to attracting the attention of global retail giants, Sydney tends to come in second best to Melbourne. But it usually works out for us eventually. Hot on the rubber heels of Puma’s first Australian flagship store at Melbourne Central, last Thursday the sportswear giant opened the doors to a 194-square-metre concept store in Westfield, Chatswood.
While the faces of model and actor Cara Delevingne and athlete Usain Bolt make it hard to ignore the 23-metre storefront, it’s the sneaker wall that will suck you in. “It makes a really impressive statement, because it’s the first thing you see when you enter the front doors,” says retail operations manager for Oceania Sean Smith. More than 100 of Puma’s freshest kicks are on display, including the cult Fenty creepers designed by Rihanna.
On the huge shop floor you’ll find sections covering Puma's Performance and Sportstyle lines. These include everything from the Forever Fierce premium style range, to its Football and Running & Training ranges for athletes.
In the past few years Puma has been signing million-dollar brand-ambassador deals, campaigns and collaborations with some of the world’s biggest names as part of a major global rebrand. Targeting the female millennial market, the sportswear giant is enlisting a squad of “#PUMAWomen” to drive the brand forward in a booming, yet cutthroat, sportswear market that is estimated to reach $83 billion in global revenue by 2020. In 2016 there has been a worldwide Spring Summer 16 campaign starring reality-television star Kylie Jenner, and a New York Fashion Week debut collection by guest creative director Rihanna. Last week a Rihanna-directed film campaign, starring Delevingne, was released.
While the brand has a strong online and social-media presence, Smith points to the concept store as a way to reconnect with consumers. “The idea behind it is to establish a meaningful connection with our consumers. We want to tell three-dimensional brand stories.”
Shop 612 Westfield Chatswood, 1 Anderson Street, Chatswood
(02) 9412 1555
Mon to Fri, Sat 9am–5pm