Delivering Design, Part IV

Puma debuts an expansive New York flagship
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Posted October 5, 2020

VMSD 2020 Retail Renovation Competition – First Place
Conversion – Specialty Store, Sales Area Over 10,000 Square Feet
“Puma, Fifth Avenue Flagship”
Submitted by: Shawmut Design and Construction, New York
Additional firm: Design Republic, New York

After Puma closed its U.S. flagship stores and operated its brick-and-mortar business exclusively through outlet shops for nearly a decade, the company changed direction and, in 2019, decided to open a new full-line, full-price store in New York, reminiscent of the brand’s stores located in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.


BEFORE | Photography: Courtesy of Shawmut Design and Construction

“Puma got Shawmut involved when they were looking for the right space,” says Jim Scarpone, Director, Shawmut Design and Construction. “That was the key to success in this project – getting the team involved as early as possible.” 

That early partnership meant decisions between the retailer and the design firm could be made symbiotically, something that became a necessity due to the project’s time constraint of 39 weeks.

“In Shawmut, we get involved in a lot of flagship opportunities, and most of them take a year to design. This one was much shorter. It was on this accelerated schedule from a design and build side, and then when we got greenlit and permitted to build, we had a very short time period.”


AFTER | Photography: Frank Oudeman; Joseph Reed/Shawmut Design and Construction

But it was that time constraint that offered Puma and Shawmut the freedom to spend time on decisions that held more weight, and to let go of the ones that were ultimately less important – a perspective that is sometimes harder to see on a project with a much longer timeline. “Time constraints drive the decision-making process,” says Scarpone. “I’ve been involved with much simpler stores where too much time was spent on minutia. The team knew the objective, we met on a weekly basis if not more, and the decisions had to be driven. This was another benefit from bringing in the team early. While the architects are drawing, we’re pricing and budgeting.”


AFTER | Photography: Frank Oudeman; Joseph Reed/Shawmut Design and Construction

The final store beckons onlookers, from its oversized shoe props to the dramatic front façade, it’s the work of a dedicated team of people working against the clock. “Everybody worked together to achieve the goal. We always say, ‘Great projects are built by great teams.’ And we’re just a part of that great team.”

Be sure to check vmsd.com throughout the months of September and October for more winners from our annual Retail Renovation Competition.

For Part I, please click here.
For Part II, please click here.
For Part III, please click here.