Foot Locker’s announcement Monday that it is buying two major sneaker store chains for a total of $1.1 billion could have local ramifications.
The stores are Japanese streetwear brand Atmos and California athletic retailer WSS.
Just last November, Atmos merged with the popular Philly sneaker boutique, Ubiq. Originally opened in the old Gallery mall in 2002, Ubiq became a place to find exclusive sneaker drops and was named one of the 10 stores that helped define streetwear.
Ubiq grew in popularity locally for its Philly-focused style, selling the “Phila Unite” Jordan 1. Atmos pledged to keep the Philly flavor relevant after its merger, but that could be threatened with Foot Locker’s acquisition. Foot Locker is merging with Atmos to increase its presence globally.
The American sneaker store is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new consumermodel, where people buy shoes online more than ever. But that also hurts sneaker fans, who face slimmer odds of finding exclusive drops in store.