The Mall at Bay Plaza in Baychester hosted the grand opening of its new Adidas store last week — the first one to take shape in the Bronx.
Rich Efrus, an Adidas corporate communications officer, said there was a grand opening celebration on Saturday that included art, music, and culture.
“To celebrate opening weekend, on Saturday Adidas hosted a special moment for uptown creators to open the store in true Bronx style,” he told the Bronx Times in a statement. “Hip hop and the community were front and center with a day full of programming and music to create a colorful vibe for Bronx shoppers.”
Efrus said the brand new Bronx Adidas store, located at 2228 Bartow Ave. in Suite 228 of the mall, includes a digital footwear wall so customers can search for products online, as well as other service areas for shoppers.
This weekend’s grand opening celebration also showcased store artwork by Bronx native and creative designer Jae Tips, which Efrus said was true to the artist’s “fun visual style that plays with bright colors and eye-catching flair.”
LaNiece Douglas, the Adidas vice president of retail in North America, said in the statement that the company is “thrilled” to open its newest store in the Bronx.
“This is an important one for us in our key city New York,” she said. “We can’t wait to welcome everyone and really see it come to life.”
Adidas began as a small sportswear startup in Bavaria, Germany. Adi Dassler — who founded the company in 1949 — wanted to “provide athletes with the best possible equipment,” according to the website. Now, Adidas operates out of 314 locations across 50 countries.
The brand faced scrutiny last fall over its partnership with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in the aftermath of a series of antisemitic comments made by the artist on social media and Fox News. Adidas announced it would discontinue its production of Yeezy products in October, which the company said would cause a negative financial impact of up to €250 million — or nearly $265 million.
The controversy also renewed criticism over the founding of the sportswear company itself — which, according to reporting by NPR, was started by brothers Adi and Rudi Dassler, who were members of the Nazi party toward the end of World War II. After a falling out between the two, Rudi went on to form competing shoe company Puma.
In the statement announcing the termination of the Ye partnership, Adidas said it “does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.”
The new sportswear retail store opening comes almost exactly five months to the day that Nike opened its first location in the Bronx last September. That location is also in Baychester.
Efrus declined to comment on expect sales and revenue at the new Bronx Adidas location. The retail store is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
This story was updated with information from Adidas corporate communications on Feb. 28 at 10:50 a.m.
Reach Camille Botello at [email protected] or (718) 260-2535. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes