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by Ricardo Bilton

Wednesday was a big day in the sneaker world. Nike announced its Spring 2016 Air Jordan lineup nearly a year in advance, a rare move for the company, which threw sneaker fans into a frenzy. And it also gave Sneaker News, which calls itself the “CNN for kicks” plenty of fodder for stories.

“It was absolutely an all-hands-on-deck kind of day for us,” said Sneaker News editor-in-chief Yu-ming Wu, who founded the site in 2006. “The site blew up.” The site’s post about the Air Jordan 2 and Air Jordan 12 got 22,000 visits and was shared over 1000 times.

Sneaker News may fly under the radar of casual sneaker wearers, but for hardcore sneaker fans, it’s a must-read. Besides new sneaker announcements, the site’s coverage includes office tours, retrospectives , and in-depth looks at big-name releases . It has made for a successful formula. The site gets 4 million unique visitors and 30 million pageviews a month, according to Google Analytics. And at 3.5 million followers, its Instagram presence is similarly sizable — bigger, even, than Nike’s official Jordan’s account .

Like its rivals KicksonFire and Fred de la Bretoniere Wedge sandals grey VXV2KhM
, Sneaker News is one the many websites, Instagram accounts and YouTube channels aimed at the growing community of sneakerheads, people who, Wu says, not only buy sneakers on a regular basis but also collect them and treat them as art. It’s a small audience, dominated by male teens, but one that has had a significant influence on the industry. Sneaker sales in the U.S. were a $22 billion business in 2013, a 30 percent climb from 2004, according to The NPD Group. Sneakerheads represented 5percent of that, or $1.1 billion.

Much of that growth is thanks to the Web, which has made it easier for sneakerheads to connect with each other, keep up with new releases and even swap shoes via eBay. “They want to know what’s new, what’s controversial and what’s affecting trends on the business side,” said Matt Powell, sports industry analyst at The NPD Group.

The growth of that hardcore fan base has opened up opportunities for sites like Sneaker News, which are aimed at not only keeping fans abreast of new announcements, but also keeping them constantly updated on when things go on sale. A quarter of the traffic to Sneaker News goes to its sneaker-release calendar, which, Wu says, readers check as often as once an hour.

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Wednesday, June 20

In the news:

By Simran Vatsa

Posted:
July 29, 2017
12:48 pm

, Westwood

Amazon opened a pickup location in Westwood on Tuesday. Students with Amazon Prime and Prime Student can receive same-day pickup on items ordered and shipped to this location before noon. (Michael Zshornack/Photo editor)

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Students can now receive textbook orders from Amazon within a day at Westwood Village’s latest offering.

Amazon opened a staffed pickup locationTuesday on Westwood Boulevard. Members of Amazon Prime and Prime Student receive free same-day pickup on items they ship to this location if they place their orders before noon, said Carly Golden, anAmazon spokesperson.

Golden said the location also features a device station, where people can try out Amazon products like the Kindle, the Fire TV Stick and the Echo. Customers can also return items purchased online at the location.

“Amazon is a huge presence in all of our lives,” said Andrew Thomas, executive director of the Westwood Village Improvement Association. “A brick-and-mortar location will be a great presence in our community.”

Golden said this is the 21st staffed pickup location Amazon has opened near a college campus. Other campus locations include UC Berkeley, UC Davis, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Pennsylvania.

“When you’re a student on the go, nothing is more important than getting the things you need, when you need them,” Golden added.

Yusrah Ishtiaq, a rising third-year biology student, said she thinks the location will eliminate the stress of waiting for a textbook or having to deal with lost or stolen packages.

“I’m definitely going to use this facility often,” Ishtiaq said. “I use Amazon for a lot of things.”

Henna Dialani, a rising third-year statistics student, said she thinks the location’s quick delivery will result in increased competition for the UCLA Store.

“It’s going to give students more choice in buying things like books and clothes,” she added.

Dialani added she might check out the store’s device station, because she is interested in buying a Kindle.

“(The location) is spreading the brand name of Amazon devices, because it’s like a showroom for (them),” said Anjali Revanur, a rising third-year psychobiology student.

Thomas said he thinks the store’s easy access to parking makes it convenient for individuals in Westwood.

Revanursaid she thinks the store will further business for Amazon among UCLA students.

“I think more people will consider getting Prime for the number of benefits (the store would) provide them,” Revanur said. “I’m not a Prime member, but seeing these benefits, I’m considering getting it.”

Simran Vatsa

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Melissa Jenco / Chicago Tribune
Some new stores have been announced for the Chicago Premium Outlets mall in Aurora.
Some new stores have been announced for the Chicago Premium Outlets mall in Aurora. (Melissa Jenco / Chicago Tribune)
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New stores coming to Aurora outlet mall include Sperry Top-Sider, Old Navy Outlet, UGG Australia, bebe
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Chicago Premium Outlets announced a second wave of stores to be added with its current expansion project.

Wellensteyn Outlet store, Movado and Sperry Top-Sider will join the Aurora outlet center in August, along with the 20 other new stores already announced.

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Wellensteyn, a Germany-based luxury coat line for men and women, will be the first store in the Midwest region for the brand. It will be located near Vince at the new end of the center.

The multimillion-dollar expansion of the Chicago Premium Outlets will add more than 50 new stores, bringing the center's total to 170 stores.

The 20 new stores previously announced with the expansion are Abercrombie Fitch Outlet, American Eagle Outfitters, bebe, Clarins, Columbia Sportswear, Corningware Corelle More, Express Factory Outlet, Finish Line, Fragrance Outlet, The Limited Outlet, The Luggage Factory, Mountain Warehouse, Old Navy Outlet, Quicksilver, Robert Graham, Saks Fifth Avenue off 5th, MARSèLL Listello boots L1TGlq
Kids, UGG Australia, Vans and Vince.

Blair Hickey / Handout
Construction of an expansion goes on at Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, with 50 more stores to be added
Construction of an expansion goes on at Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, with 50 more stores to be added (Blair Hickey / Handout)

Some current retailers at the outlet center will relocate to the new area and increase their store size. Among those retailers expanding are Nike, Michael Kors, Under Armour, Coach, Cole Haan, Converse , Guess Factory Store, J. Crew, Skechers and Vera Bradley.

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