New York's Fifth Avenue becomes world sneaker capital with Puma flagship store

Athletic retailer Puma opens its 24,000 square foot North American flagship store in the heart of New York City Thursday.

The location on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 49th Stree offers customers “a unique shopping experience through innovative sports engagement zones, a customization studio and digitally connected offerings,” according to the company.

In addition to being a place to purchase and customize Puma sneakers and clothing, customers will also be able to “hop into professional-grade F1 racing simulators and virtually race down the streets of New York City.” These simulators are the same as are used by F1 racing drivers Lewis Hamilton—the company’s brand ambassador—and Max Verstappen. The store will also feature a simulator that mimics the pitch of San Siro soccer stadium, complete with virtual coaching by professional soccer players Antoine Griezmann and Romelu Lukaku.

Sneaker giant Nike opened its six-level flagship store, called the “House of Innovation 000,” just blocks away from Puma’s on Fifth Avenue in November 2018. “On each floor, groundbreaking features offer spaces and experiences that are both personal and responsive,” Nike says of its store. Like Puma, Nike offers customers customizable products and aims to create an immersive experience.

Nike's Fifth Avenue store.

Adidas, too, landed on Fifth Avenue in December 2016 with a flagship store on the corner of 46th street. In this location, Adidas has replicated a stadium atmosphere with locker rooms instead of dressing rooms, as well as “track and field areas where consumers can test and experience products.”

Adidas's Fifth Avenue store.

While being the newest edition to the Fifth Avenue retail scene, Puma hopes “consumers can experience the store’s unique offerings during the grand opening weekend,” which will include “in-store performances, fitness activations and exclusive opening weekend merchandise.”