Sneak­er­snstuff Out­lines Plans For Ex­pan­sion

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY ARIA HUGHES

The sneaker re­tailer, which re­cently part­nered with FSN Cap­i­tal, will open an L.A. store later this year.

Sneak­er­snstuff is in growth and ex­pan­sion mode.

The spe­cialty sneaker re­tailer, which was founded in 1999 by Erik Fager­lind and Peter Jans­son, who opened the first store in Stockholm, has grown by 85 per­cent this year, ac­cord­ing to Fager­lind.

Ear­lier this year it part­nered with FSN Cap­i­tal, a pri­vate eq­uity in­vest­ment fund, which ac­quired the com­pany from the founders and its for­mer in­vestors, and then set up a new hold­ing com­pany. That hold­ing com­pany bought all of the shares in Sneak­er­snstuff, which is val­ued at $95 mil­lion, and the ma­jor­ity of the money that the founders re­ceived from the ac­qui­si­tion was rein­vested into the new hold­ing com­pany.

“We found the right part­ner with FSN Cap­i­tal. They know noth­ing about the sneaker busi­ness and trust our judg­ment with grow­ing the com­pany,” said Fager­lind. “In­vestors are mov­ing out of old re­tail, but we want to con­tinue to of­fer shop­ping des­ti­na­tions, build out an ex­pe­ri­ence and scale with­out get­ting rid of that.”

Fager­lind said that as op­posed to open­ing one store a year, they will up that to two and the goal is to op­er­ate 12 to 15 stores.

They cur­rently run five units, in­clud­ing its Meat­pack­ing Dis­trict lo­ca­tion in New York, which opened last year.

Be­fore the year is out, SNS will plant its flag in Los An­ge­les and has de­cided on a non­con­ven­tional lo­ca­tion: Venice Beach, but not along Ab­bot Kin­ney Boule­vard. Fager­lind said while stay­ing at a ho­tel in Santa Mon­ica he ran along Venice and asked their bro­ker to look into re­tail spa­ces on the beach, which is now mostly ded­i­cated to sou­venir and surf shops.

“Venice is what L.A. is like from our per­spec­tive,” said Fager­lind. “Go­ing to down­town L.A. or West Hol­ly­wood and Mel­rose felt like New York to us.”

The shop, which is de­signed by Jenny Asken­fors of Bofink De­sign Stu­dio, will em­brace its lo­ca­tion and merge Mex­i­can ha­cienda, surf and sou­venir shop de­sign ref­er­ences along with el­e­ments from Mus­cle Beach.

Fager­lind said since launch­ing the New

York store, which will open its bar later this year, ven­dors such as Nike and Adi­das have in­creased al­lo­ca­tions. But Fager­lind still says these brands aren’t act­ing global enough in their strat­egy and there is too much re­gional seg­men­ta­tion. While many brands have fo­cused on their di­rect-to-con­sumer strate­gies, Fager­lind be­lieves they will al­ways need spe­cialty re­tail stores in some ca­pac­ity.

“They need val­i­da­tion. We’ve seen them try to do this be­fore and it hasn’t worked.

It’s all about be­long­ing to some­thing and the cus­tomer feels that way when they visit our shops,” said Fager­lind.

Now the fo­cus is on open­ing stores in Asia, dou­bling down on events that stick with the con­sumer, in­vest­ing in the pri­vate la­bel and of­fer­ing a more per­son­al­ized ex­pe­ri­ence on­line.

Sneak­er­snstuff store in New York.

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