Company Hoping To Become Major Global Brand; Currently Operates More Than 6,000 Stores In China Alone
Last December, Jing Daily looked at Li-Ning, China’s top sports brand, and its prospects for success outside its home market. As we noted at that time, over the past few years Li-Ning laid out plans to enter new markets, with plans set out last year to open the company’s first American retail outlet in Portland, Oregon — right in the backyard of rival Nike.
This month, the store opened to a decent amount of fanfare at 910 NW Hoyt Street, drawing basketball shoe enthusiasts hoping to get their hands on Baron Davis’s signature Li-Ning BD Doom shoe, which made its public debut at the store’s opening. While the store opening didn’t get a great deal of media coverage, NPR interviewed Li-Ning General Manager Jay Li at the event and discussed the company’s prospects for success in the cut-throat American sporting goods market.
From Sole Collector‘s coverage of Li-Ning’s American grand opening:
Two years ago, when Li-Ning first announced it would be opening a design office in Portland, Oregon, otherwise known as the “epicenter of footwear,” there was some uncertainty about the company’s plans and long-term goals as a performance brand in the United States. Up to that point, to be fair, they were known as the brand that had signed Damon Jones.
In a quick-moving twenty-four month span since, the brand’s 910 NW Hoyt Street space in the Pearl District has evolved into not only a design center filled with accomplished footwear professionals, but also an adjacent retail space dubbed the Li-Ning Portland Showroom. With the doors of the Showroom ceremoniously opening for the very first time at 5:30 PM this past Monday, several eager fans lined up early to make sure they got their preferred size and colorway of Baron Davis’ signature Li-Ning BD Doom, launching in several colorways for the first time to the public.
Check out the full article here for more photos. Considering the unveiling of Li-Ning’s Portland location focused primarily (if not completely) on the basketball crowd, it’s not surprising that the “martial arts,” ping pong, and badminton supplies that the store was rumored to specialize in are relegated to secondary status in the photos, but you can definitely see them in the background.