Inside the New size? Store of the Future

size? celebrated its 20th anniversary by opening a new store staffed by size? Experts in the heart of Glasgow. To find out more about the expansion of the sneaker and streetwear retailer’s virtual shopping service, we spoke to size? Experts Jessica, Gavin, and Sandy.

Footwear specialist size? has been at the forefront of sneaker culture for more than 20 years. Today the retailer counts 36 locations across Europe, including a whopping 25 on its UK hometurf. The latest addition to the store directory is a concept in Glasgow, situated in the city’s historic Royal Exchange Square beside the Gallery of Modern Art, just a short walk from the shopping district of Buchanan Street.

Technically a relocation for size?, the store carries everything customers have come to expect from the iconic purveyor, from sneakers and shoe cleaning products to streetwear and accessories for both men and women. The 1,880 square-foot space perfectly blends the classic with the contemporary, featuring references to the Scottish city throughout, including a large traffic cone installation in the middle of the store, a reference to Glasgow’s Duke of Wellington statue and his beloved traffic cone hat.

The Glasgow store is the most recent addition to the size? Experts program, bringing the number of European stores which offer this online-to-in-store service to 15. Powered by Hero, size? Experts enables a true omnichannel experience, allowing online customers to chat to size? retail staff to discuss the finer details on products such as fits, styling advice, and availability, firmly positioning the store as the shopping experience of the future.

To celebrate the launch of the Glasgow location, we spoke with three of the store’s size? Experts. Get to know Jess, Gavin, and Sandy, and learn how they’re delivering their renowned customer service outside the four walls of the shop below.

Jess

Meet Jess. With size? since January 2017, Jess moved to Glasgow from Edinburgh seven years ago and never looked back. Her romance with sneakers began in 2012 with the release of Nike x Liberty. She picked up both the Air Max 1 and the Free 5.0 from the pack, and the rest is history. Today she considers herself an “Indie Cindy” and loves mixing streetwear with vintage garms.

To learn more about her and how she helps customers find exactly what they’re looking for, we sent over a few questions.

How do you educate yourself on the latest styles?

It’s a mix between talking to my team and seeing what they’re excited for, and from chatting to customers about upcoming releases.

Instagram is also a beneficial tool for keeping up to date, not just from sneaker pages but from influencers and celebrities. A few of my favorite pages are: @complexsneakers, @thedropdate, @highsnobietysneakers, @sneakerfreakermag, @hypebae, and @jessylaw.

How do you ensure you help each customer find exactly what they’re looking for?

We aim to take the time to understand the needs of the customer. This involves talking and doing a little background research like establishing a budget and finding out who the product is for—especially around Christmas or when customers are buying gifts. It’s important that customers are confident when making a purchase with us, especially if they haven’t shopped with us before.

Being able to share products with customers online by taking photos of it in store and using the catalogue feature on Hero means you can recreate the shopping experience as if they were in the store.

On the flip side, when sneakerheads come in they know exactly what they want and they’re guaranteed to have a wee catch up with the team at the same time.

What experience do you offer customers that they can’t find elsewhere?

We pride ourselves on our customer service and loyalty we’ve built with customers over the years. My goal is to ensure our customers are given a personalized experience every visit and to provide a premium level of customer care as opposed to a quick sale with no real interaction.

Same goes for online. Having that one-to-one service experience is everything.

Have you seen specific styles or certain products become more popular than before the pandemic?

Definitely. Air Jordan seems to have exploded over night. This might be due to The Last Dance but it always felt like Jordan was very “if you know, you know.” Now I’m seeing the majority of our customers, including girls (which is great!), asking, sharing, and entering raffles for them.

What are some recent releases that have been popular and how do you explain their popularity?

Apart from the Air Jordan demand, I’m really loving the Nike Space Hippie 04 and have noticed a keen interest from customers as well. It definitely stands out as Nike’s first sustainable and eco-friendly model.

Are there any particular products you just got in that you’d recommend to just about everyone?

It’s the adidas Superstar’s 50th anniversary this year so we’re seeing plenty of them drop in store. It’s an easy match to most outfits that anyone can pull off while adding that retro touch.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Making genuine connections with customers is top—in-store and online. Relocating our store to Royal Exchange Square has been the highlight of the year for sure, and seeing our regulars and new customers walk in for the first time is class!

What’s 1 tip anyone can apply to up their personal style?

If you like it, wear it!

Gavin

Next up is Gavin. Living just outside of the city, Gavin is 28 and he’s been with size? since October 2018. The first sneaker he ever fell in love with was the Air Max 1 and he’s had a few pairs in his collection ever since discovering the iconic silhouette.

How would you describe your style?

My personal style is quite simple: I’m usually dressed in oversized basic essentials with some bright kicks.

How do you educate yourself on the history of sneaker brands?

The best way to learn about them is to talk to people who are passionate about the brands. Luckily at size? both customers and staff are!

Is there a particular person or are there certain character traits you have in mind when thinking of the size? Customer?

Although most people are interested in similar products and brands, our customers all have individual styles and love to put their own spin on things.

How have shopping habits changed between March and today?

After spending so much time in lockdown, people have been excited to come back into their favorite shops so people are spending more time browsing and chatting. At the same time, a lot of customers are using online more and more, so having Hero aids those same conversations we’d have in-store.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Knowing that I helped someone get something they really love!

Sandy

Rounding out the trio of size? Experts is Sandy. Born and bred in Glasgow, Sandy has been with the footwear specialist since November 2019. The Air Max 90 and Air Max 95 were the first sneakers to catch his eye—perfect choices given his interest in ‘90s and early ‘00s streetwear.

How do you educate yourself on the latest styles?

I regularly read blogs, listen to podcasts, and use Instagram to keep up to date with what I’m interested in: sneakers and streetwear.

How do you educate yourself on the history of sneaker brands?

The history comes hand in hand with my interest in trainers; knowing the story and background behind them can be fascinating. Besides that, talking to customers and people online with similar interests helps educate me.

Working with a brand that appeals to so many people from so many different backgrounds and walks of life, how do you ensure you help each customer find exactly what they’re looking for?

I’ve taken a lot of time to educate myself on things that are not necessarily of my particular interest so that when I’m speaking to a customer in the shop or online through Hero I can relate with them and share my knowledge.

How do you manage to provide personalized styling advice with presumably less foot traffic than before the pandemic hit?

Before the pandemic, I always spent quality time with customers building outfits with them and telling them how I would style the trainers they’re looking at. Being able to send styles through Hero means I’m still able to do this!

What are some recent releases that have been popular and how do you explain their popularity?

The hype around Nike SB Dunks has skyrocketed! Celebrity influences and who’s wearing them always starts the hype. There’s also been a huge increase in interest for Jordan 1s. Ever since The Last Dance, everyones buying into the franchise—that’s sometimes all it takes for someone to start loving sneakers!

Are there any particular products you just got in that you’d recommend to just about everyone?

The Air Max III in “Laser Blue.” It’s a timeless classic with great history behind it.