Major League Baseball has decided to try its luck across the Atlantic as it has opened one of its pop-up stores in London, which is the first standalone retail space for baseball in all of Europe.
The store is located in the Covent Garden district of London and opened officially for business on Monday September 12. The pop-up store sells clothing as well as memorabilia from each of the 30 MLB teams. The store will stay open through the end of this year.
The main goal for the store is serve Londoners who are focused on their teams and on baseball in general, said a spokesperson for MLB.
Baseball fans in London will find authentic jerseys, caps, shirts, baseball equipment as well as other types of merchandise at the store, said the MLB spokesperson.
Fan can have jerseys personalized at the store. The store has an interior of exposed brick on the walls with wooden fixtures that was designed in a way to reflect the look of ballparks in MLB.
The lineup of different brands in the store includes Majestic Athletic, New Era, Wilson Sporting Goods, Rawlings and Louisville Slugger.
The shelves are well stocked with bags made by Herschel Supply and socks made by Stance, which in May signed a new licensing deal with the league.
Shoppers are allowed to test a headset equipped with virtual reality from MLB Advanced Media. The headset allows fans to experience what it feels like to be at Petco Park in San Diego. The park was the host of this season’s All-Star Game during July.
The retail venture in London will help to advance the efforts of the league to increase its overall footprint across the UK and Europe.
Officials from MLB baseball reiterated that Commissioner Rob Manfred has a vision of expanding the game and of growing the brand. The officials added that the league has learned what baseball fans in London like and want.
A strong market exists in Europe for MLB retail products, said its spokesperson, and there are a number of partners from Majestic to New Era to ’47 Brands that market products from the league.
Opening a London-based store is just its latest step, as MLB has explored possibilities of playing games during the regular season in the capital city of the UK, looking at a possible venue being Olympic Stadium.
Officials from MLB hoped that America’s pastime would have been played in London by 2017, but those plans were temporarily shelved in July.