Located in the Mandalay Bay Shops mall, Suite160 is one of the premier independent retailers for cool kicks and streetwear in Las Vegas. The approximately 2,000-sq.-foot (186-sq.-meter) shop’s GM, Billy Milam, recently discussed its history, product mix and what sets it apart from other shops in this desert resort destination. Interview by Christopher Blomquist

What is the history of the store?
Suite160 was started in Las Vegas in 2001 by owner/founder Jeff Brown. We've been the original and first sneaker boutique in Las Vegas. Suite160 started out selling Elwood clothing and Adidas skate products and evolved to what it is today. We were the first NikeSB account in Las Vegas when they came to us in 2002. Jordans in 2003, and history ever since....

What are your bestselling brands?
Nike, Jordan, NikeSB and TOMS.

Who is your “typical” customer?
About 90% of our business is tourist but we see a good share of local business when some new Jordans release or its back to school time.

How does Suite160 set itself apart from other retailers in Vegas?
Suite160 is Las Vegas. When you think of Vegas, you think of 160! (Laughs). No, we carry a ton of brands and merchandise that is limited edition, or rare, or hard to find: limited edition sneakers, tees, hats, etc. We also give you a customer service like no other. We want you to feel welcome in our shop. We like to get to know our customers and make them feel special. We want you to want to come back. You can buy some of these things we sell anywhere but you come to us because we treat you with respect and make you feel like a friend.
Suite160, Las Vegas
Suite160, Las Vegas

How do you keep in touch with your customers?
We use our social networking to keep in touch. We update our blog whenever something new comes in. Our Facebook and/or Twitter is updated with new release info and pictures of new stuff. Instagram is the same thing. We also send out e-mails once a week to update those customers who don’t use social networks.

What is the biggest challenge of being a retailer today?
As a retailer, our biggest challenge is knowing the demographic of customer during a particular time of year and planning for it. You must have the proper merchandise for all customer types. Having something for everyone and more of a certain product if it’s a special event or specific time of year i.e. swimsuits for summertime.

How do you find new merchandise and brands?
We do extensive research on popular demand and trends. We also visit the MAGIC and Agenda trade shows.

What are some “golden rules” of retailing?
1. The customer is NOT always right. (Laughs). 2. Keep selling what they keep asking for.

What will be the next big thing in sneakers or streetwear?
Honestly... that's the scariest part of this business–you just never know.

Store's address:
Mandalay Bay Shops
3930 Las Vegas Blvd South #132A
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
+1 702 304 2513