Culture Kings opens its first US store on the Las Vegas Strip



Culture Kings’ new store on the Strip isn’t your typical outlet.

The streetwear boutique boasts a 75-foot wall with towering color-coordinated columns of more than 11,000 hats. To try one, an employee on an elevator must enter it for you.

The store also features a recording studio, slushy bar, live DJs, half basketball court, LED screens, upside-down mannequin legs wearing pants and boots, and a bag game boxing called The King.

It’s a visually stimulating place that cost millions of dollars to build. It is also Culture Kings’ largest and first US store.

“It’s the biggest and best in every way,” said CEO and co-founder Simon Beard, who launched the retailer in Australia in 2008.

Culture Kings opened a two-story store in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace on November 5. footy’s retail space has over 2,000 styles of apparel, headwear and footwear.

The store offers a range of sports team hats in different colors and designs, as well as basketball jerseys and other sportswear.

Overall, Culture Kings targets “male consumers between the ages of 18 and 35 who are fashion-conscious, highly social and digitally-minded,” according to a securities filing by San Francisco-based parent company aka Brands. Holding Corp., which acquired the retailer last year for an undisclosed amount.

Culture Kings has several stores in Australia and one in New Zealand, but generates most of its sales online, Beard told the Review-Journal. He declined to say how much it cost to build the space on the Strip, but said it was “several million dollars.”

“It costs more than all of our stores in Australia combined,” he said.

In Las Vegas, Culture Kings can gain exposure to tourists from around the country and around the world. It also faces plenty of competition, as the Strip is packed with malls and other shopping venues, and no shortage of retailers offering hats and apparel.

Given the large number of visitors strolling by, retailers on the Strip are known to generate big sales figures, but also pay high rents. Culture Kings’ lease in Las Vegas will cost about $1.7 million in the first year, according to its parent company.

Beard said he was proud of the deal, adding it was a “good deal” considering the store’s size and location.

Shawmut Design and Construction said in a press release that they installed a grand staircase in the store with LED-clad risers; a “mirror tunnel hallway” that leads shoppers to a secret room; a Jumbotron; and more than 50 LED screens.

It began demolition work in March, turning what had been multiple retail stores into one, said Eric Geisler, Shawmut’s Las Vegas office manager.

Probably 30% of Shawmut’s local business is building retail stores, said Geisler, who noted that Culture Kings had “a lot of guest interaction just beyond the clothes.”

In Las Vegas, Culture Kings shoppers also need the help of employees to retrieve hats to try on, and not just from the giant wall, as workers need a ladder in other areas of the store.

Some hat hunters may not have the patience for this, and Beard acknowledged the retailer may be sacrificing some sales. But he said the goal is to sell entire outfits and show off his expertise, not just have a “transactional” experience where people pick a hat and walk away.

“That’s my kind of bet,” he said.

Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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