Elevated and exclusive shopping experiences and products are fast becoming a way for brands to differentiate and create hype around new offerings and core products. New Balance has entered the beauty market in celebration of opening a premium direct-to-consumer retail store in Australia this December and it smells like luxury on and off the court for the apparel brand. Sydney will become home to the only “Grey Store” of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and one of 20 premium boutiques
iques globally, allowing consumers to shop sought-after New Balance collections “Made in USA” and “Made in UK,” in-person directly from the brand. The new scent for Sneakerheads Distilled, a limited-edition fragrance range has been created by the brand to commemorate the opening of the Galeries Grey Store, and heroes the scent ‘Original’, paying homage to its classic styles and ‘Court’ honouring its performance shoe collection. Perfume Playground founder, and Australian fragrance expert, Samantha Copland partnered with the brand to curate the scents inspired by the not-so-daggy dad shoe and the performance-based range. The scent is produced from all-natural ingredients and can be used on the body, as you would a normal fragrance, or on your kicks to keep them smelling fresh. Not just a Novelty The scent at first may seem like a novelty for sneaker enthusiasts, but in reality, what better way to cement a brand’s pop-culture position than by crediting it the next time one of the lucky few to have gotten their hands on the drop is complimented on their scent. Polly Morris, New Balance Australia’s brand marketing manager, exclusively told Inside Retail, “We’re thrilled to be launching Australia’s very first New Balance Grey Store which has distilled the very best of the New Balance brand into one single retail experience. We’ve loved doing something a bit different for this launch and look forward to giving away some exclusive collectables to the first customers through the door.” Customers will need to shop in-store if they want to get their hands on this unique Christmas gift, and for now, it’s a gift money can’t buy, with only the first 100 customers to make a purchase in-store receiving a bottle of Distilled. Now famous for its footwear and apparel, the Boston-based sports brand, founded in 1906 by William Riley, was originally a flexible arch insert inspired by the three-claw chicken foot that provided perfect balance. New Balance has experienced rapid growth, as the fashion industry has embraced the brand, and in 2022, the privately owned company reported revenue of US$5.3 billion, a 21 percent increase on the year prior, and globally, it has over 500 retail stores and in excess of 3000 retail partners. Money can’t buy experience The Galeries Grey Store allows locals the opportunity to shop early access to new collaborations and merchandise drops, maintaining 80 percent of stock to be exclusive to the store. It is set to open on December 19 on Sydney’s luxury retail strip George Street and offers a premium retail experience. New Balance Asia Pacific’s direct-to-consumer director Jonathan Clarke told Inside Retail, “The Galeries Grey Store has been designed to provide a high-end, luxe retail experience in the heart of Sydney and we can’t wait to see the reception from our loyal fans, sneaker enthusiasts and fashion lovers.” “As an Australian-first, the Galeries Grey Store will have all the classic New Balance favourites including the 550s, 9060s and 2002s – as well as some of our newer products, like the futuristic WRPD shoe.” Denim a great fit for the foot Formerly known as the go-to for fathers, New Balance has become a hot commodity that has customers lining up outside of retailers for the latest drops and exclusive high-calibre collaborations with players on and off the court to include NBA, football and iconic fashion houses. This can be seen in its latest collaboration with Levi’s, bringing together the ‘mum jean’ and the ‘dad shoe’ best known for comfort and practicality as opposed to its style. Both items have stood the test of time and are now fashion statement staples of this generation. Levi’s has stitched its red tab and shrink-to-fit mark onto the New Balance MT580 silhouette to celebrate the 150th birthday of the Levi’s 501 with the capsule collection consisting of two limited-edition colourways. A nod to mountain bike culture and Marin County, the capsule pays homage to the home of the sport and combines Levi’s durable fabric on a refined and streamlined silhouette of the classic New Balance MT580. As one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies and global leader in denim, the collaboration with Levi’s aligns New Balance with a brand entrenched in fashion with a significant following.