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Best foot forward for new sneakers store

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A new store specialising in sneakers has opened up for business in Hamilton.

And co-owner Akil Trott said the three partners in the firm were convinced there was a market for a store specialising in casual footwear.

Laced — in Front Street's Emporium Building — made a low-key debut last month, with a grand opening and expanded range scheduled for November.

Mr Trott, who founded the business with partners Vernon Lambe, and Jevon Davis, said: “Interest is on the increase — Bermuda has always had a stylish population and sneakers have always been a highlight of that.”

He added: “For sure there is a strong market and we've noticed that demand has gone up over the years.”

The partners — who all work as hotel bartenders — said they tested the market with a website before establishing a bricks-and-mortar presence.

Mr Trott said: “It just came to us. We had been observing the sneaker culture and fashion and we wanted to develop our own little niche. It's not about exploiting the culture, it's about enhancing the culture.

“It's not that Bermuda lacks stores, but we are a bit more exclusive in what we supply.

“We do have an online presence, that's pretty much where we started from. That and a love of sneakers.

“But this is the real beginning of it all — the shop. The online presence was really just to establish the culture of sneakers in Bermuda.”

He added that the partners' shared background in the hospitality industry gave them valuable insights into customer care.

Mr Trott said: “We can transfer our customer skills to this easily. It's all about talking to people.

“We've all definitely learned in the hospitality industry and we've become overall salesmen because of that.

“We're all still working in hospitality and this is one of the many endeavours we hope to start in the future.” The store's most expensive offering at present is the eggshell-coloured Nike Jordan Pinnacle I — which features 24-carat gold-plated eyelets and badging.

But the current range starts with the more modest classic adidas Gazelle sneaker, which sells for $80, and also sneakers from Asics, although Mr Trott said the range would expand in time.

The store also sells laces, including leather ones, to allow buyers to customise their sneakers, as well as cleaning supplies from Reshoevn8r, a well-known brand in North America.

Mr Trott said: “Bermuda has always had style and we wanted to reflect that.”

He added that Nike's Hurrache style had been popular a popular seller this year, in Bermuda and elsewhere.

Mr Trott said: “Bermudians are not a following community, but there is always a trend in what's hot for any particular year.”

And he added: “We're in a culture now where status is everything, from what we wear down to the shoes. It's an expression of oneself through sneakers.”

Mr Trott said the trio decided to open a store despite the recession still affecting Bermuda's business environment.

He added: “In any sector of retail, there's always going to be the scare factor, but we try not to let that hinder or stop us.

“There is definitely a market out there and we rely on the relationships we've built to keep us afloat.”

Laced, open from noon to 7pm Tuesday to Saturday, can be contacted at lacedbda@gmail.com.

All about the sneakers: Laced partner Jevon Davis (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
All about the sneakers: Laced partner Jevon Davis (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Laced, the new sneakers store in the Emporium Building (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Laced, the new sneakers store in the Emporium Building (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
All about the sneakers: Laced partner Jevon Davis (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Laced, the new sneakers store in the Emporium Building (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published September 01, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 31, 2015 at 9:33 pm)

Best foot forward for new sneakers store

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