“Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling.”
– Naveen Jain

“Love this business” not because it is contemporary, innovative, fun, hip, omnichannel, clever and functional (well, yes that too) but because it makes a statement.

Great retail, as a wise mentor once said to me, is about theatre, owning the space, being the top dog and above all being loud and proud.

Plus it’s Aussie, in a sea of globalisation and imported retailers here we are growing innovation in our backyard. Welcome to the Melbourne-born “Sneakerboy” which began as an omnichannel retailer. Not adapting per se, rather symbolising the new generation of home-grown omnichannel.

Sneakerboy (born 2013 – current – future)
Renowned for being the store with no inventory, Sneakerboy’s unique concept is as efficient and convenient as a website, but as tangible as a retail store.

With stores in Melbourne and Sydney, in true omnichannel fashion, the Sneakerboy experience customer journey most likely begins on your mobile or tablet, as you wander up and down George Street in Sydney wondering where this unique store is hiding! As you follow your Google maps and enter Temperance Lane, the unique retail experience begins.

_72R6070From the limited natural light, to the minimalist monochrome Sneakerboy posters and odd bit of graffiti guiding you down what looks like the back entrance to a restaurant. There in front of you, you see a spaceship-like tunnel entrance to the store.

As you enter the store an attentive sales assistant greets you to explain the retail process. There is no POS, there is no inventory, and don’t expect to walk out the store with your new kicks. You will still find traditional rows of sneakers on the shelves, however once you’ve tried on a couple pairs, and made your decision on which to purchase, you are guided to an instore tablet to make your purchase which will be sent to your home address.

Some may question whether this takes away part of the thrill of shopping, the instant gratification of buying a new item of clothing, however you still get this through the act of being in such an inspiring environment and making the purchase on the tablet. Then you go home and perhaps forget about your purchase as you get on with daily life. A couple days later the product shows up at home or at your office and it’s almost a surprise. It’s almost a double thrill, you still get a buzz.

The brand caters to the new luxury consumer. No longer does luxury consumer mean a woman in her mid-40s strutting down the Champs Elysees but more a kid in Shanghai inspired by the likes of Kanye West. This new luxury consumer, whilst tech savvy and embracing digital retailing, is still human. As humans we seek to engage all of our senses in the shopping experience, and this is where this concept excels.

The physical shop is where the action is, if you do it with inspiration, excitement, discovery, building on the human experience of what it is to be human. The seamless integration of digital and physical platforms in such an inspiring setting makes Sneakerboy a leader in omnichannel strategy, and yet, it’s not even a set strategy, it’s simply a way of life.


Sneakerboy
First published in Inside Retail, 9th September 2015.