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.