Retailer Insight – Caliroots


Die Schweden von Caliroots beschäftigen sich schon seit mehr als zehn Jahren mit den Themen Sneaker und Streetwear. Die in Stockholm ansässige Firma betreibt neben ihrem Flagship Store auch drei weitere Stores, die sich auf Skateboard Hardware, Sneaker und High Class Streetwear konzentrieren. Zahlreiche limitierte Produkte finden regelmäßig ihren Weg in die Stores, zudem veranstalten die Jungs auch ihren eigenen Sneaker Swapmeet, welcher jeweils im Sommer stattfindet.
Lest selbst, was sie uns zu ihrem Konzept, möglichen Expansionsplänen und mehr zu erzählen haben und warum sie denken, das Musik und Sneaker/Streetwear gut zusammen passen.

Hi there, nice meeting you. Please, tell us a bit about your Stores. When did it start, how did it start, etc.?
Caliroots opened the doors to the first Store at Brunnsgatan in Stockholm during Christmas 2003 with a vision to open a store with its roots from the skate and snow scene. The assortment was built around brands such as Carhartt, Vans, Stussy, XLarge, Freshjive and smaller t-shirt labels from the west coast of America. Six months after opening the store, the online store at was launched for a worldwide public.

You´re well known in the industry, selling Sneakers and rare Streetwear since more than 10 years now. What do you think about the latest Sneaker Trends and about the Scene itself nowadays?
The trends within the sneaker scene right now are very exciting. There are a lot of brands that are doing great things with new models based on contemporary trends as well as bringing back some of the classics. There’s also a difference in the sneaker culture. Nowadays, there’s a lot more people interested in hype releases and limited editions than before, when sneaker was more of a sub culture.

Do you think these „exclusives“  or „hype releases“ are important for your customers and for your business in general?
Yes, it creates an interest for sneakers for sure. But everything doesn’t have to be limited and super special to be good. It’s important not to loose focus on the general business.

What products got you lately personally from these Collabs?
Last fall/winter we’ve been looking forward to the Reebok x Beams and, of course, we got the Yeezys.

What makes Stockholm( or the Swedisch Sneaker Scene) so special in case of Sneakers? Any differences to other European Cities?
Sweden and especially Stockholm has always been an International city. The Swedes travel a lot, we have many companies who produce fashion and we are in general early on trends. This means that we can try new things in our stores and predict upcoming trends before they get big.

What makes your Store so special, im comparison to other stores?
The mix. We’ve always been aiming for a perfect mix of classics and basics together with limited editions, special brands and releases. We want to offer our customers a wide range of products with an assortment that makes it possible to choose between more than different colours and models. Since we’re working with several different concepts within streetwear, sneakers and premium, we’re able to do that. And another thing is that we’re not afraid of what’s new out there – we love new trends.

What do you think about the current trends right now?
It’s extra fun to see that music and sneakers are very strong together right now, like with Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Kanye etc.

Do you think, that Streetwear, High-Fashion and Sneaker also came closer together as many Fashion Brands tend to make Sneakers as well and do Collabs ( like Nike with Kim Jones, adidas with Raf Simons, etc.)?
Well, right now skate brands wants to be high fashion and high fashion brands want to go street or even skate. If you ask us it’s just fun since we have one foot in the skate pool and one in our premium department where a lot of brands want to be right now.

What about smaller brands? Can they survive in these days?
Within the sneaker business it’s going to be tough, the big fishes are too strong. Even brands which have a great history but are not among the top 5 will be facing hard times. There’s a difference when it comes to streetwear, there’s always going to be a market where the hype moves between brands instead of styles. Though, with that said it doesn’t mean that new brands are going to get big for that.

What´s your personal Retro oft the year 2016?
The adidas Gazelle has been great for us – while Stan Smith and Superstar is strong as the white iconic sneakers, Gazelle has been able to land a wider range of colours. The comeback of the Air Max 95 that we’ve seen lately is also great.

You do your own Sneaker Swapmeet in Stockholm each year. In Europe, there are plenty of Events happening as well. What do you think about this trend?
It will continue, both for display and exhibition but also as a sales platform for limited sneakers. Ebay is great, but there’s a lot of people who want to see their dream kicks live and talk with other sneaker heads in person.

How do you see the future of the Sneaker Business?
It will continue, maybe the distribution will be split into more levels. The brands will work even more with their own channels, but the mix of brands will still be important. Walking into a store with only one brand isn’t that sexy.

And what can we expect from you guys in the near future?
We just partnered up with the premium streetwear store SOTO in Germany, which of course is very exciting for us. They got an online store at as well as two stores in Berlin. For now, SOTO will run as before, but we will provide our knowledge within online shopping  and, together with the crew in Germany, push SOTO into new dimensions.

Thank you for the talk and good luck in the future with Caliroots and Soto.