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Nine West Is Looking to Beef Up Its Image With Lots of Pumps

Image via <a href="http://www.wwd.com/accessories-news/footwear/nine-west-flagship-reopens-6390363/slideshow/6391161#/slideshow/article/6390363/6391168">WWD</a>
Image via WWD

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Nine West's reputation as a sensible footwear option is known throughout malls nationwide, but the company is currently in the midst of a revamp to "up its 'cool' factor," according to WWD. The brand recently opened a new concept store in New York City, and plans to roll out the same concept worldwide within its existing stores, rather than opening a slew of new units.

A key point in the makeover includes The World of Pumps, a dedicated party shoe, high-heel wall that can now be seen on Madison Avenue. WWD explains that "every store will take its cue from the revamped flagship," and that the new merchandising strategy will also hit the brand's website. Nine West's President and CEO Richard Dickson adds: "A huge percentage of our business is pumps, but now we're celebrating it with every color, heel size and material pump. It's not just a basic. It's a go-to."

In addition to the wall of pumps, trend-driven themed walls like "rocker glam" and "modern bohemian" will also make appearances within the stores. Nine West locations will also include a Boot Bar and a Ballet Bar, and the back rooms will be dubbed "Club 9," where appropriately, there will be gold sequin wallpaper and pink glitter flooring.

A large part of the revamp will also include pop-cultural sponsorships; so far, they've tapped America's Next Top Model: College Edition, and at the end of the month, the company will also sponsor Project Runway All Stars. What promoted the move into TV sponsorship? Dickinson asks, "How do you make yourself a culturally relevant brand? You integrate entertainment." Millions and millions of pumps probably won't hurt, either.
· Nine West Pumps Up Image [WWD]
· Nine West Introduces Two Very Different Concept Stores [Racked NY]