ATLANTA — The Athlete’s Foot (TAF) opened its first-generation TAF performance store earlier this month in Tuscaloosa, Ala., with the new store design, logo and merchandising that TAF’s parent, NexCen Brands, promised in June.
NexCen began the TAF rebranding effort after acquiring the sporting goods retailer in November 2006. The new store concept was designed and presented to franchise owners at the company’s Global Franchise Convention in Las Vegas in June. While the 1,836-square-foot Tuscaloosa store marks the first implementation of the new design, it is expected that the changes will be rolled out system-wide within the next five years.
“The industry is increasingly driven by overall lifestyle of our consumers, not just the technical aspects of footwear,” said Robert D’Loren, president and CEO, NexCen. “Our new TAF brand and store embody this shift in the retail climate by creating an apparel and footwear performance shop that appeals to everyday athletes.”
The hallmarks of the new TAF are a sleek, modern corporate identity that replaces the 36-year-old Athlete’s Foot logo; a store design inspired by the athletic lifestyle, featuring awnings and banners meant to evoke a “race day” atmosphere; and a merchandising system that allows customization of store offerings to suit individual communities and athletes. The flexible merchandising system consists of wall- and floor-unit fixtures with graphics that express the featured style, which are performance athletics, classic athletics, street athletics and fusion athletics.
Franchisee Tommy Wagner, who operates the store, said, “I knew when this new concept came about, I wanted to be a part of it.” This is his fifth TAF location.