New Era, the official cap of the MLB, NFL and NBA, on Thursday opens the doors to its latest retail space, The New Era D-Lab, inside Staples Center at L.A. Live, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings sports teams.
The 3,160-square-foot, single-level store, New Era’s fourth in North America after Toronto, New York, New Orleans and Buffalo, will stock the latest in its headwear collections including exclusive designs, local team and event-specific product, player/artist collaborations, accessories and 5th & Ocean apparel.
In the “New Era by You” customization area, customers can design their own cap by choosing from the hundreds of team logos, colors and fabrics in the brand’s portfolio. New Era has also created a special collection of patches for the D-Lab that can be affixed to caps with an in-house heat seal machine. The store also boasts a blocking machine to stretch a cap to fit a person’s head more comfortably, reshape a cap to its original form and clean a cap.
In addition to the retail experience, The New Era D-Lab will host private taste maker, celebrity and athlete endorsement events. Athletes will also be able to use the VIP area to work with a New Era designer on special collaborations.
The D-Lab is part of a multiyear agreement brokered by L.A. Live operator AEG Global in 2016, which named New Era as the exclusive headwear supplier of L.A. LIVE, the L.A. Kings, Microsoft Theater and The Novo by Microsoft.
“AEG was the perfect partner and the Staples Center was the perfect location for this project,” said Josh Feine, New Era’s vice president of marketing and sponsorships. “Our brands span the worlds of sport, entertainment and music, and that’s reflected not only in the products people will see at The New Era D-Lab, but also in the look and feel of the space. We’re bringing in exclusive product on a regular basis and giving visitors the opportunity to create custom pieces.”
As far as growing the company’s portfolio of 100 stores worldwide, Feine said, “We plan to expand stores globally with at least 30 more by end of 2017. We will not open more stores in North America; however, we will improve and enhance the experience of our existing locations.”