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Brief Published: 16 Jan 2017

Aficionado-Focused Audio Tours Augment Sneaker Retail

Tapping into the continued rise of sneakerhead culture (trainer obsessives), US retailer Foot Locker has introduced a contextual audio sneaker guide in 300 standalone stores across the US.

Encouraging shoppers to indulge in self-steered exploration (see The Rise of the Exploratorium for more) and putting the shoe category on a distinct pedestal, the sneaker areas mimic art galleries, with the footwear displayed on the walls like installations.

Visitors can access ‘Behind the Sneaker’ stories and contextual information via their own headsets and smartphones. All they have to do is connect to a dedicated URL that hosts the recorded audio tracks (in-store signage gives shoppers prompts). To access audio on specific shoes, customers simply input the code shown beside the relevant pair into a dialogue box on their mobile device.

The audio tours reveal information on design inspiration, cultural influences and impact, as well as the technologies used in the product development process. They also offer interviews with influential figures such as Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, urban culture experts and athletes such as former NBA player Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier.

For more on the continued boom of sneakerhead culture, see Sneakerhead Resale Mega-Concept and Rites, Rituals & Culture Clubs.

For more on the growing educational and experiential power of audio retail, see Audio Make-Up Tutorials by L’Oreal, Sonic Branding and Sonic Brands: Fashion x Apple.

See also Contextual Commerce, Google’s Virtual Xmas Window Tour and Retail Footwear Focus.