Swedish retail chain Sneakersnstuff recently inaugurated its new Tokyo shop. This seventh store adds to the other existing locations in Stockholm, London, Berlin, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.
Founders and owners Peter Jansson and Erik Fagerlind explained what this new store means to them, what they expect from the future for their business and evolution of sportswear and streetwear.
You started operating by opening your first online store in 1999. What is this business like after 20 years and seven stores opened worldwide?
Our online business is still very important. We are about storytelling and building a vibe. We tend to over invest in that in the physical world, using the digital world to amplify the message.
How have the consumer and the market changed?
It’s a whole new thing. In 1999 there were no Nike Sportswear, no Adidas Originals and similar additional collections and projects. Our first plan was to sell athletic footwear based on looks rather than function. Today, this is a whole new ballgame. The leisurefication of the world has also helped our movement.
You continue to run both brick-and-mortar stores and your e-commerce platform. How important is e-commerce for you?
It depends on how fast we can open stores–and how much we want to force people to our stores vs letting them buy online. So we sell 80% online and 20% through brick-and-mortar stores. But it is not like online is this magical random space. It is physical people who rather want to buy online than go to a store. We have found that our online business goes up in a city when we open.
Are you also working as consultant for some of the big sneaker and sports brands?
Do you also offer special edition models? How important is the exclusive collaboration and capsule collection part for your business?
There are levels to exclusive of course. Sometimes it’s a collection you can only find at SNS, sometimes we share that collection with 10-20 other retailers around the world. We validate the brands that we work with–and there are not many ways better to do that for us than to creatively work on special collections together.
No. We share insights with them, and they with us, but not as a consultant job.
Do you sell more sneakers or apparel?
We sell around 80% sneakers.
Can you speak of your newly opened Tokyo store? What characterizes it?
Stores express our interpretation of the city where we open. We want to be a part of where we open–so it is important for us to dig deep into each city. Our store in Tokyo is actually three buildings. One represents the rich history and heritage of Japan. One represents the futuristic side of Tokyo. And one building is a cafe/restaurant.
Where will you open next?
We want to open in cities that inspire us. Not decided where just yet but Seoul, Barcelona, Milan, Chicago, Miami, Toronto, Houston and Hong Kong are all on that list.
Are there any new projects you will focus on in the future? Can you explain any of them?
We tend to get ourselves into unchartered waters. We have a bar in NYC, a restaurant in Tokyo –about to open a nightclub in Berlin and working on a few more projects we are not ready to share yet. On top of that, we really want to focus on our creative sides to let that shine through for 2020.
What do you see in the future of the sneaker, streetwear and sportswear markets?
The hype part is still growing. Resell values will go down–but only because supply goes up. But it is also interesting to see how local the trends can be on the level beneath global hype. One thing is for sure–just making great product is no longer enough, you have to add reason for being and storytelling. And that is exactly what we love doing.