Updated from 10:09 a.m. with comments from Adidas executive
If you are a well-known apparel retailer looking to make a splash right now on the hyper-luxurious, brutally competitive, tourist-packed streets that make up New York City's Fifth Avenue retail scene, best be prepared to open one heck of an attention-grabbing flagship store.
Recently, VF's (VFC) outdoor lifestyle brand The North Face swung open its doors to an enormous two-level, 20,000-square-foot store on Fifth Avenue. Shoppers are greeted at the entrance by a giant yellow 12-person tent, a row of backpacks, cool clothes that are perfect for urban Millennials, and a station that does custom clothing embroidery.
Meanwhile, Under Armour (UA - Get Report) said earlier this year that it will open a store on Fifth Avenue in the space once held by the iconic New York toy retailer FAO Schwarz. The 53,000-square-foot store will open at the earliest by the end of 2018, the latest by mid-2019.
Clearly, athleticwear brand Adidas (ADDYY) -- which has seen a resurgence this year amid fashionable footwear designs from Kanye West and edgier marketing -- has been reading the press clippings on these glitzy Fifth Avenue retail store openings.
On Thursday, Adidas will open the doors to a new, New York City flagship on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 46th Street. The colossal, 45,000-square-foot, four-story store -- the largest store ever for the company -- will offer a host of unique features from the get-go as it looks to suck in shopper dollars and drive social media buzz.
Through MiAdidas, an online footwear customization tool, those attending the opening will have the opportunity to personalize the popular Ultra Boost sneakers from Adidas for the first time. A range of New York-specific color options and details will be made available for the sneakers, too. Other over the top aspects of the store include a tunnel entrance inspired by sports stadiums, stands for live-game viewing, locker rooms instead of dressing rooms, a juice bar, personal fitness consultations and service that will ship orders from the store to your nearby hotel the same day.
As for products, Adidas also will drop several buzzworthy new ones for the store's opening, such as NBA star James Harden's "Harden Vol. 1" and the Ultra Boost Uncaged Parley, an eco-friendly sneaker composed of 95% ocean plastic.
"We wanted to focus on elevating the brand in key cities, and New York City is a great place to start because it's a sport and fashion intersection," said Claire Midwood, Adidas' Senior VP of Concepts to Consumer, in an interview.
TheStreet had the opportunity to tour the store ahead of its opening (video and photos below). It was nothing short of a global mecca to the Adidas brand, and a true snapshot into where the brand is headed.
Greeted at the entrance by an enormous video wall with floating sneakers.
You can sit on stadium-inspired bleachers and watch sporting events on two giant flat screen TVs.
Just like high school.
There are sneakers for sale everywhere in the store. We were surprised by how many styles Adidas has available.
Oh, those lovely smelling new sneakers.
Shoppers can customize Adidas' iconic Stan Smith sneakers via MiAdidas.
The store has a department with a focus on New York City.
Bronx in da' house.
Some of the store's unique services. Yes, that is a juice bar in the background.
More retail stores need a concierge service.
Virtual reality goggles take you inside the Adidas brand.
Digging those Adidas phone cases. Clever.