Extra Butter is sharpening its focus to reach more customers.
The sneaker chain, which was cofounded by Jason Faustino, Ankur and Nick Amin in 2007, has homed in on Faustino’s love of film with its newly designed boutique on the Lower East Side.
The space, which is located at 125 Orchard Street, mimics a movie theater. Sneakers and clothes are displayed on the perimeter of the store and theater seats sit in the center. The outside of the flagship features a marquee and a ticket window. When the store is closed, a screen comes down over the storefront that streams movies throughout the night.
“After 10 years in business, we wanted to refocus what our brand DNA and message is,” said Bernie Gross, Extra Butter’s creative director. “We wanted to emphasize film and cinema and translate that into an elevated retail experience.”
This redesign comes after Extra Butter has made some internal staff changes and expanded the team. Since TSG Inc., Extra Butter’s parent company, acquired Jeff Staple’s Reed Space last year, Staple has come on to help with creative direction. The company has also hired Paul Lee, who was formerly the creative brand director and senior buyer at Ubiq in Philadelphia, as general manager.
The reopening has also forced the team to reassess what they sell and decrease the number of stockkeeping units they stock in store. Gross said they will place more options on the e-commerce site, which now accounts for 50 percent of sales but will be closer to 75 percent next year.
“We did this to ensure that we only display a top selection of the brands that we carry. We are part of the small group of elite sneaker shops, and we want to make sure that the product that hits the shelves is the best reflection of what we have to offer as a retailer,” Gross said.
Extra Butter recently partnered with rapper Ghostface Killah on the AsicsTiger Gel Lyte MT called “Pretty Toney.” Amin said this is the first time Extra Butter has brought a third-party into its sneaker collaborations. The brand is well known for its highly sought after footwear tie-ups with brands including Saucony and Reebok, but Gross said going forward they will decrease the number of product drops they do.
“Collabs have become quite saturated to the market,” Gross said. “We have an endless pool of inspiration to pull from movies and create these amazing storytelling opportunities, but we would rather quality over quantity. In 2014 and 2015, we did 18 collabs. We have the bandwidth, but the question is why do it if we can make the same statement with less collabs.”
Amin said the private label is an area of growth for the retailer and he believes as top vendors go more direct-to-consumer, Extra Butter is tasked with transcending the relationships it has with these brands.
Another challenge is the speed at which trends are changing. Amin remembered when the shelf life on a trend was around nine months, but now it’s closer to a quarter, which is forcing brands to edit product faster, which affects buying and private label design.
There are plans for the Long Island store and also interest in opening a shop abroad, but Amin couldn’t reveal specific details.