LOS ANGELES — Jordan Brand on Saturday throws open the doors to its latest store, flush with major flash. Think rooftop basketball court, customization bar, personal styling and product performance testing.
It’s more than 24,000 square feet of space occupied along the Broadway corridor in a section of downtown Los Angeles — outside of the Arts District — that has managed to generate a fair amount of buzz. The street has slowly attracted brands such as BNKR, Mykita Aesop, Acne Studios and Gentle Monster. A.P.C. is just off of Broadway on Ninth Street.
“Downtown specifically was a strategic choice between the Jordan Brand and Footaction,” said Scott Dixon, vice president and general manager of Jordan Brand for North America. “We really look at this as it’s going to be an increasingly influential part of the city landscape for L.A., so we felt like it would be a perfect destination for the Jordan Brand to launch as we move forward in the city.”
The company has partnered with Footaction on its North American retail stores, with a Footaction store not more than a couple of blocks away, also on Broadway.
The Jordan Brand store is the third for the company in North America after Chicago and Toronto and plants it in a market that is one of a dozen identified by parent Nike Inc. as key to overall growth.
“We knew we needed to be in downtown L.A., but then it just had to fit what we wanted to be at retail because physical retail needs to be more than just transactions,” Dixon said.
The store’s ground floor serves as a traditional retail space for apparel and footwear. A second floor includes what the company is calling its Flight Lab, which allows for customers to do performance testing and customize product. There are also locker rooms for high school students and others that will be invited to regularly play on the rooftop court. The works of local artists Delfin Finley, Adam Villacin and Billy Kheel, among others, are mixed throughout the space.
“We see tremendous opportunity,” Dixon said when asked what the company has in mind for future store growth. “What I’m most excited for in North America is to create a marketplace of the future for the Jordan Brand, which is obviously going to come through in a physical and digital retail experience. The reason why we’re celebrating Jumpman L.A. today is because of the fact that we see beyond transactions. How do you truly engage with your consumers from a brick-and-mortar retail perspective?”
It’s a big splash into L.A. with a permanent dip into the market, after a major display by the company earlier this year during the All-Star Game weekend. The company’s store opening also comes on the heels of Theory’s launch last week and an incoming Vans flagship on Broadway. The Theory store marks the company’s fourth in Los Angeles.
“During my visit last year, I became incredibly inspired by the transformation of downtown Los Angeles,” Theory founder and chief executive officer Andrew Rosen, who was traveling and unavailable for comment, said in a statement. “I thought it would be a great place for us to open our next location because of its inspiring energy.”
The 1,600-square-foot door was the first of the company’s stores to launch Theory women’s creative director Francesco Fucci’s pre-spring collection.