In a surprising move, atmos USA has announced its decision to exit the US market. The news comes shortly after Foot Locker's $360 million acquisition of the brand back in 2021. Atmos was founded in Harajuku, Tokyo, in 2000, has been a significant player in the Japanese sneaker and streetwear scene. Over the years, the atmos brand has garnered a massive following, known for its collaborations and limited-edition releases with every major footwear label, including Nike, adidas, New Balance, and its upcoming release with Salomon.
In a recent statement to Footwear News, Patrick Walsh, the SVP and GM of atmos, shed light on the brand's decision. He remarked, “The Atmos brand has a unique and authentic identity, character, and spirit. Given the strength of Atmos in Japan and Asia, we are focused on further investing in this market. Though in line with this focus and our plans for simplification, we have made the strategic decision to close our three Atmos stores in North America and our Atmos U.S. website. We are confident that this is the right move for Atmos and will help us continue to work in service of bringing sneaker and street culture to our customers in Asia."
It was only in 2020 that atmos made its foray into the US market. This expansion was facilitated by the conversion of UBIQ storefronts, which belonged to John Lee, a close associate of atmos founder Hommyo Hidefumi. With its new branding as atmos USA, the retailer set up shop in three prime locations: Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington D.C. atmos USA didn't just build its physical presence. The company also did a great deal of work on building an online community by utilizing sneaker raffles and releases as a means of mobilizing its fans and creating buzz via it's atmos Collector's Club initiative.
Although the atmos brand is not going anywhere, this marks another retailer that has shuttered its doors in recent years. We’ve seen Hanon close its physical storefront, Eastbay ceasing operations, YCMC going bankrupt, and wellgosh going out of business. On top of this, atmos’ parent company, Foot Locker, plans to close down 400 mall locations by 2026.
As of this writing, there has yet to be any official announcement on the atmos USA website or its social media pages. Moreover, the three storefronts are still operational.