The NBA store of Fifth Avenue in New York was a kind of mecca — it contained just about everything NBA (and Adidas, which runs the store). Plus it hosted a number of player events. It was sort of a shrine to hoops.
But it closed in February when its lease was bought out in the trendy part of Manhattan’s shopping district because the building owners wanted higher rents.
Now the league’s official store has found a new home of Fifth Avenue between 47th and 48th street and will open soon, reports the New York Post. Basically, this is “trendy area” adjacent and still a good location.
This is a temporary, 6,000 square foot space (the old space was a whopping 35,000 square feet). The NBA store will be there for a couple years until a new location can be found. Adidas will continue to run the store.
Just don’t expect any player events in the immediate future.
The NBA’s flagship store is leaving its prime New York City location just after the start of next year.
The NBA Store has been on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan — right in the heart of the city’s prime shopping district, where the store was as much an ad for the league as anything else — for a dozen years. But CNBC’s Darren Rovell reports the league is shutting down that location and moving on next February to another yet-to-be-determined spot in the city.
Why now, when the league itself reports that league merchandise sales are up 25 percent over a year ago?
The reason? Prices were thrown out of whack when Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo agreed in April to pay a reported record $300 million over 15 years to lease a space in the same building as the league’s store.
This may be the most interesting part though.
When the new store opens, it will be run by adidas, which runs thousands of stores throughout the world and some in New York City. The current product mix in the store of roughly 65 percent adidas items is expected to continue. The league will control the lease.
Just another little shot in the Nike/Adidas battle.