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Foot Locker has put its Champs and Eastbay brands under one roof for the first time ever in suburban Chicago.

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NOW, MORE THAN EVER, high school athletes want to emulate their college and pro counterparts. Tapping into that trend is Foot Locker Inc. (New York), which has put the first store combining its Champs and Eastbay brands into the Oakbrook Center in suburban Chicago.

Dubbed the Champs Sports Community Store, the 21,000-square-foot space is home to the first brick-and-mortar location for Foot Locker’s Eastbay brand. The design of the two-level space is by Foot Locker’s in-house Global Retail Concepts Team.

Situated on the first floor, the Champs area is demarcated by its signature white and blue brand colors.

Situated on the first floor, the Champs area is demarcated by its signature white and blue brand colors.

“The first level of the store is given over to Champs’ women’s apparel/sneakers, as well as our kids’ lines,” says Joseph Stoker, VP of Brand Experience, Champs Sports. “The second floor is home to our men’s product and an Eastbay shop-in-shop. The Eastbay space is 1100 square feet dedicated to servicing the high-performance customer, swapping the assortment based on the local high school sports schedule.”

Encompassing 21,000 square feet, this new outpost houses Footlocker’s Eastbay brand’s first physical experience.

Encompassing 21,000 square feet, this new outpost houses Footlocker’s Eastbay brand’s first physical experience.

The Champs’ part of the space is dominated by its white and blue brand colors, while the Eastbay section is demarcated by an interior arch that’s painted in that brand’s signature black and yellow and bears a sign. The second level is also home to what designers describe as an “activation space,” which features bleacher-style seating, screens for gaming and lockers to showcase product.

To help ensure the new concept gets noticed, Foot Locker put it in a high-profile address: Oakbrook Center is an open-air mall with more than 170 retailers and restaurants spread across 2 million square feet of space. (Those stats make it the second-largest shopping center in Chicagoland, behind Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Ill.)

The store’s location is reinforced in its interior with paintings of local scenes on the walls behind its two cashwraps and on the wall beside its escalator. Those works, by graffiti artist/muralist Miss Merlot, include a large painting of the Chicago Theatre’s famed vertical marquee.

PHOTO GALLERY (12 IMAGES)

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