Snipes in Downtown Brooklyn

Snipes is bringing its 2.0 concept store Stateside.

The German sneaker retailer will open its updated store concept at 161 Flatbush Avenue across from Barclays Center in Brooklyn on July 9. The Downtown Brooklyn location will be more apparel driven than its classic concept that focused on sneakers, and it will be totally paperless with 17 LED screens for brands to tell stories supporting their products.

“We couldn’t be more excited to introduce the game-changing Snipes 2.0 store concept to our U.S. customer,” said Snipes chief executive officer Sven Voth. “And where better to start than right across from Barclays Center in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, cradle of sneaker and streetwear culture!”

Snipes planned to open its first store in the U.S. in March, but that was delayed due to COVID-19. Adam Herstig, head of marketing at Snipes, described the concept as “COVID-friendly” because it’s paperless and brands can share their assets digitally, which reduces touching. The first 2.0 location opened in Cologne, Germany, in 2018.

Herstig also said Barclays Center was a great fit for Snipes’ first 2.0 location because of the synergy the retailer has with the Brooklyn Nets and the arena. He said Snipes has access to the oculus and atrium at Barclays and players will be close by for store appearances — when the NBA returns.

Snipes is celebrating the opening through giveaways with DJ Khaled, who was named the retailer’s chief creative officer in October 2019. The music producer and sneakerhead will give different prizes and goodie bags for raffle winners, including products from New Era, The North Face and Converse, and a pair of “Father of Asahd” Air Jordan III sneakers named after Khaled’s 11th studio album from 2019. Since Khaled can’t physically be in Brooklyn for the giveaway, he will appear on a truck LED screen outside to unveil the winning raffle numbers.

Like other sneaker retailers, Snipes was impacted by the coronavirus, with sales in March and April below last year, but June so far has been exceeding last year, said Herstig.

“We were fortunate enough to quickly pivot to move everything to online, which wasn’t necessarily easy being based in Philadelphia. We got through it and our online numbers over those few months were tremendous. We’ve noticed there was a pent-up demand. Austria and the Netherlands were our first markets that reopened and they had capacity guidelines. We saw some of these numbers come in and they were above what we had expected. And it mirrors what we saw in the U.S.”

Snipes operates just under 400 global stores, with 94 in the U.S. Of the U.S. stores, 76 are open and operating, and the retailer plans to add 10 new stores this year and convert more existing stores into 2.0 locations.