Frank Witsil , Detroit Free Press 4:13 p.m. ET March 28, 2017
The Under Armour store in downtown Detroit is set to open April 13.
The store, which is part of a retail chain that specializes in making and selling high-end sportswear and athletic gear, was announced by the company’s CEO and Detroit businessman Dan Gilbert about four months ago. It will be at 1201 Woodward, not far from rival sportswear retailer Nike, which opened last spring to big crowds and fanfare.
Under Armour said Detroit was an ideal location for the company as an “icon of Americana.” Like Baltimore, where Under Armour is based, Detroit is “currently experiencing an unprecedented wave of momentum, and we can’t wait to be part of their exciting success story,” the company said.
Under Armour already has two Factory House stores in Michigan, at the Tanger Outlet in Howell and Birch Run Premium Outlets in Birch Run. The Factory House brand is how the company refers to its outlet stores, which tend to offer lower-priced merchandise. The new store, however, will be the company’s first Brand House in the state.
This format, which the company began rolling out in 2015, offers some of the brand’s highest-end products and is reserved for marquee locations. The 16,000-plus square-foot store will be smaller than the 22,000-square-foot Nike store, but both retailers have the same landlord: Bedrock Detroit, one of Gilbert’s companies.
Bedrock expects the store’s grand opening will draw more shoppers downtown. Under Armour joins a march of retailers to a stretch of Woodward between Campus Martius and Grand Circus Park including the upscale John Varvatos men’s clothing store and Moosejaw, the outdoor apparel and gear retailer.
Under Armour was started in 1996 by now-CEO Kevin Plank in his grandmother’s basement in Washington D.C. It began as a company that sold synthetic, moisture-wicking gear worn under uniforms and athletic clothing. Since then, it has grown into a sportswear powerhouse with stores globally that sell a variety of apparel, footwear and equipment.
The company has endorsement deals with several superstar athletes, including Steph Curry, point guard for the Golden State Warriors, and Tom Brady, the former University of Michigan quarterback who has led the New England Patriots to five Super Bowl championships.
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Detroit Free Press, March 28, 2017