When VF Corporation acquired Supreme nearly a year ago, it promised not to change much about the streetwear giant’s business plan. “We’re not coming in with a new plan or approach, because frankly they’re pretty darn good at it,” Scott Roe, VF Corp executive vice president and CFO, told WWD at the time.
Yet now that the pandemic has eased up a bit — and in-store shopping has picked up — VF seems intent on expanding Supreme’s brick-and-mortar presence. A number of Supreme leak accounts have reported that the streetwear brand is getting not one, but two new stores, increasing its global store count from 12 to 14. The news has reportedly been confirmed by the account @ImTooRealForU, which is supposedly run by the nephew of James Jebbia, Supreme’s founder.
What’s opening — Prior to VF’s acquisition, the opening of a new Supreme outpost was considered a relatively rare occasion. But its two newest stores — set to be located in London and Berlin — follow the opening of a Milan store in May of this year. While Supreme is known best for its exclusivity, it may be attempting to expand its European presence, especially after a bootleg version of its brand dominated Italy (and parts of China) for years.
Supreme already owns stores in Paris and London, with the latter located in Soho. Fans are speculating that the upcoming London store will be near or in East London, while others have suggested entirely different cities like Birmingham or Manchester. There’s no known date for when either of the new stores will be introduced, but the Berlin store is slated to open first.
Hype is secured — Whether Supreme’s expansion will affect the brands’ reputation for exclusivity and hype has yet to be determined. In the year Supreme has operated under VF, its drops have still sold out in minutes, and the brand has only added to its growing list of collaborators (some of which are also owned by VF).
A few more retail locations likely won’t hurt the streetwear giant — although it relies on exclusivity, making Supreme more accessible in certain regions won’t affect sales. With new stores comes new merch; additional retail locations can actually bolster the brand’s hype with products limited to specific stores.
The opening of Berlin and London Supreme stores won’t affect its exclusivity for now. No matter how many new outposts appear, consumers will still face barriers like resellers, limited products, and unattainable prices.