Converse Opens First Full-Price Store

Photo: Boston Globe

Photo: Boston Globe

Converse, which opeerates 53 outlet stores, is opening its first full-price door, a 4,000 square foot two-level store on Boston’s Newbury Street. Converse will also be opening a store in NYC’s SoHo by year’s end with other East Coast locations to follow in 2011.

According to the Boston Globe:

The concept store, which attempts to marry the brand's history of heritage athletics and rock 'n' roll, opened in the former G Star space at 348 Newbury St. Restored wood from old high school bleachers decorates the walls and doubles as display shelves. Nearby, subway tile covers the wall as a tribute to the edgy New York punks who eventually adopted the Chuck Taylor high-top after it was seen less as an athletic shoe and more as a fashion statement.

"There are about 2,000 stores around the world that say 'Converse' on them, and we have licensed partners everywhere,'' said Dave Powers, vice president of global retail for Converse, which is headquartered in North Andover. "In the US we have 53 outlet stores, but they're outlets for liquidation. The Newbury Street store is a launching point for us in a lot of ways. Nobody has seen this apparel before, and most of these shoe styles you can't find anywhere else in the United States.''

It's a big step for a company that less than 10 years ago declared bankruptcy and was subsequently purchased by competitor Nike. Mike Tesler, a retail analyst and principal at Retail Concepts in Norwell, compares the opening of the Converse concept store to the opening of Niketown on Newbury.