In The News: Hoka One One, Ara, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance
Hoka One One is venturing into retail. The Deckers-owned brand is offering a glimpse of what Hoka brand stores could look like with two newly opened bi-coastal pop-ups (open from September 1 to the end of December) in New York City (Flatiron) and Los Angeles (Melrose). Hoka says the new locations will allow the brand to talk directly to the consumer and “will be essential in collecting consumer data insights and data trends to inform how the company navigates the retail landscape moving forward.” The pop-ups have 3D foot scanning devices by Volumental, and the spaces also feature smart lockers, enabling customers to start the day for a run or enjoy the store hands-free. Customers will also be able to purchase apparel that has previously been available on the brand’s website.
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has announced two new aspects of its annual ‘Connect’ buying event at the Kansas City, Missouri Convention Center from Nov. 8-11, and is encouraging advanced registration for the event. The Connect Show, which is requiring attendees be vaccinated for COVID-19, has a new cancellation policy in place that will fully return deposited funds to any exhibitor cancelling attendance on or before Oct. 1. If Grassroots cancels the show after Oct. 1, full refunds will be available. Prior to that deadline, the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance will provide registered attendees with an overview of the show’s health and safety plans and host a ZOOM open forum to answer vendor questions. The November event will mark the first gathering of the retail group in more than 600 days.
Ara announced that industry veteran Bruce Kaplan has been hired as Executive Vice President, a newly created position for the German footwear brand. Kaplan, who joined Ara in July, has decades of experience on the brand and retail side, most recently as Executive Vice President at Phoenix Footwear.