GDR Innovation Strategist David Dalrymple-Pryde visited Crep Protect and Presented By’s new, collaborative space in Central London to see how this quite different sort of shoe store pitches itself specifically at the enthusiast and resale market.
Presented By is a consignment store which, in effect, means it stocks sneakers sourced from members of the public, which it sells on their behalf for a pre-agreed price and commission. At its Central London location on Percy Street, sneaker cleaning product brand Crep Protect offers premium repair and cleaning services alongside the Presented By product range. The store is aimed squarely and singlemindedly at the collectors market.
The store has the feeling of a temple to sneakers, with every detail working to heighten the ritualised, somewhat fetishistic aspects of sneaker culture.
From the stock ticker-inspired display showing the market prices of the most sought after sneakers, to the sneakers themselves – wrapped in clear shrink-wrapped plastic and merchandised across large, undulating wood fixtures which flank the store’s main space; the store presents sneakers as objects, art pieces, assets – never really as products or even as footwear.
Refreshingly, nowhere are any claims made for this or that pair of sneakers’ superior design or performance – there’s no attempt to provide the customer with the typical sorts of post-purchase alibi that allows them to rationalise their purchase in terms beyond scarcity and exclusivity.
Nowhere is this clearer than in the store’s fairground grabber machine where those spending £25 or more get the chance to grab a pair of rare or valuable sneakers for their collection. The shoe’s size is not clear to the customer using the machine; though the expectation is that the resale value will be at the front of their minds.
Its object lesson in how attention to detail, a focus on experience and a deep understanding of your customer can allow a store to establish an entirely distinct context and frame of reference that perfectly addresses a very particular niche.
The design touches make the store worth a visit for anyone in the area, even non-Sneakerheads.
The address is: 15 Percy Street, London, W1T 1DS