Footwear brand Hoka, renowned for its cushioned running shoes, is making a significant move by opening its first-ever retail stores. The company aims to fuel greater growth for its parent company, Deckers, through this expansion into brick-and-mortar locations. Hoka President Wendy Yang announced that the brand would open its doors to shoppers at two prime locations: 5th Avenue in the Flatiron neighborhood of New York City and Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, California.
The grand opening of these stores took place on September 1, 2021, marking a new chapter in Hoka’s journey. This expansion is part of a broader direct-to-consumer push in the footwear industry, with brands like Nike, New Balance, On Running, and Allbirds striving to get closer to their customers. Hoka has signed shorter-term leases for both shops but is likely to extend the agreements as they learn more about consumer preferences and decision-making processes.
Hoka’s sales have been impressive, surpassing those of its sister brand Ugg for the first time in Deckers’ history. The brand’s revenue in the three-month period ending June 30 surged 95% to $213.1 million from $109 million a year earlier. According to NPD Group data, sales of performance running footwear in the U.S. grew by about one-third in the first half of the year, with Hoka’s sales rising about 90%.
The new Hoka stores will offer 3D foot-scanning devices to assist with sizing and provide lockers for customers to store their belongings while testing out shoes in the area. As the running shoe business continues to outperform other types of athletic footwear, brands like Hoka are poised to capitalize on this trend and drive further growth in the coming quarters.
Jeanel has 15 years of retail, marketing and brand management experience. She has started an ecommerce business in 2019, after working in corporate retail and real estate as a senior managing director and former consultant. She's traveled all over the world, speaks at world renowned trade shows and events, holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce (B.Comm) and a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate. You can connect with her on Linkedin.