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LeBron James Heats up Miami Retail Sales

With yesterday’s announcement that the NBA star will move to the Miami Heat, retailers are gearing up for more consumer spending in the area.

By
with contributions from Nancy Mucciarone

LeBron James’ move to Florida might be good for more than just his new NBA team, the Miami Heat.
 
Retailers in the area interviewed by Footwear News expect the hype and heightened tourist traffic to lead to increased sales.
 
“Everyone here is super excited; it brings energy to the LeBron brand,” said Danny Waserstein, owner of Shoe Gallery Inc. “I think there is going to be a lot of [retail] attention in Miami, more than ever before.”
 
Blake Henderson, manager at Journeys, said that even with the deal signed just yesterday, people are already walking the streets in LeBron James jerseys. Henderson anticipates the sudden buzz could increase sales at his store by 10 to 15 percent.
 
“During the season we’ll see more of an increase as it continues,” he said.
 
At Alton Sports in Motion, where James’ shoes are sold, manager Livio De La Rosa said he thinks the transition will increase orders on the athlete’s Nike footwear.
 
“LeBron’s shoes are popular now, but I think they are going to become 10 times more popular now that he’s going to be here in Miami,” said De La Rosa.
 
Meanwhile, traffic has been down at The Falls Shopping Center in recent months, but retailers are hopeful this will change with yesterday’s announcement.
 
“It is finally going to pick up with the traveling and people coming to Miami,” said Giovanna Perez, assistant manager at Bandolino Specialty Retail. “I do think it will have an impact that will drive sales.”