DTLR Names Todd Kirssin CEO, Opens Next Generation Flagship Store – Sourcing Journal

new balance

There’s a fresh face at the helm of DTLR — but it’s hardly a new one.

Todd Kirssin has been with the streetwear retailer for more than two decades, working his way up from a footwear buyer to president and chief merchandising officer, and now chief executive officer. He takes over a role held jointly by Scott Collins, who stepped down last year, and Glenn Gaynor, who will be exiting in March.

One of the first moves he’s overseeing as CEO is Wednesday’s opening of a new flagship concept in the Spotsylvania Towne Centre in Fredericksburg, Va.

The 7,000-square-foot store, which the company is calling “Next Gen,” will feature a number of bells and whistles including digital ticker tapes that will keep customers informed about exclusives and new arrivals. There will also be digital TVs that will showcase visuals from the store’s top brands along with community events and tips about the latest trends and products.

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The new store design features a polished logo fascia application, an open ceiling, integrated shelf illumination, stand-alone mid-floor brand capsules and other fixtures.

“Elevating the shopping experience involves creating a unique and memorable store concept that goes beyond the traditional retail model,” Kirssin said. “This ‘Next Gen’ concept marks the future of DTLR’s retail presence as we look to engage customers not only with our products, but the lifestyle we project, and the communities we serve.”

The design will be rolled out to all new locations that will be opened in the future.

The opening of the Fredericksburg store comes as DTLR celebrates its 40th anniversary. The company, formerly known as Downtown Locker Room, currently operates more than 240 stores in 19 states. It started out in Towson, Md., in 1983 as Athletic Attic Footwear, targeting the hip-hop/urban community, and opened its first store under the Downtown Locker Room name soon after.

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By 1998, it had expanded into apparel and in 2008, rebranded as DTLR. In 2017, it merged with Philadelphia-based Sneaker Villa and added 125 locations to its stable, bringing its store count to 237. This attracted the attention of U.K.-based JD Sports, and in 2021, the parent of Finish Line, Shoe Palace and JD bought the business for $495 million from its private equity owners.

In the past several years JD has been working to expand its reach in the U.S., starting with Finish Line, which it bought for $558 million in 2019, followed by the San Jose, Calif.-based Shoe Palace, which it purchased at the end of 2020 for $325 million. Now it has turned its attention to DTLR.

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Kirssin has seen a lot of changes since coming on board as the footwear buyer in 1999 when the company only had 12 stores. While it has grown substantially, its focus has remained the same: inner-city youth. Kirssin, who spent most of his time at the company as the chief merchant, said the stores today are 70 percent footwear and 30 percent apparel and carry brands popular with young shoppers such as Nike, Jordan, Hoka, Adidas, Levi’s, Timberland, Ugg, New Balance, The North Face, Champion, Billionaire Boys Club, Puma, Mitchell & Ness and others

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