Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Under Armour’s next challenge

Now that they’ve conquered the sports world, Under Armour is looking to take over the malls of America.

The apparel maker is kicking off its crusade at the Westfield Annapolis Mall Thursday when it opens up a 4,500-square-foot store — just a fraction of a 240-000-square foot addition at the mall.

The store is worthy of a TV studio — with CNBC in town to do a live spot that’s exactly what it was when I visited yesterday. You walk into it from the mall through a tunnel and are welcomed with gray walls and lights hanging down. The company was going for the look and feel of a stadium’s underbelly — sans the musty smell of standing water, I would assume.

Like most stores these days, there are bright colors, blaring bass-driven music and videos. In all, it’s designed to attract the younger sports enthusiast.

But the question is, will this work? Are amateur athletes really going to go to the mall for their gear when they can run into the nearest Dick’s Sporting Goods? Will they undertake the challenges of holiday traffic and parking lots filled with minivans to buy their latest running shoes when they can go online?

Only time will tell. But I’m not one who likes to wait. So let me know: Will you frequent the mall for the latest Under Armour gear or will you keep going to Dick’s, Modell’s or the World Wide Web?

-LOUIS LLOVIO, Business Writer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would go to the mall. It is worth the experience to really feel like you are part of the UA team. Also, I would imagine they will have stuff there that no other retailer will have. Great athletes wants the latest and greatest so go to the source. Imagine the chance to actually see Kevin Plank shopping at his own store....too cool