Puma 10th year anniversary in Braam

Puma's 10-year anniversary of being in Braamfontein has just been celebrated. The area was chosen for the store as it had become a throbbing hub of activity, said Commercial Marketing Coordinator Breda Marsha. “We got involved in Braam as the area was on the up — lots of cool hangouts and bars, as well as a lot of activity in and around the streets.

“At the time we opened the first PUMA Store we also opened the world’s first PUMA SELECT store a street down, and shortly afterwards we added the very successful and loved PUMA Social Club across the street from the store. We definitely had first mover status in Braam and it created a bit of a home for us — something we could sink our claws into. Brand activities in the area of our stores always bring the brand closer to our consumers,” she said.

The Puma Social Club concept was a consumer activation that launched globally in 2010, when pop-up retail and nightlife venues around the globe were set up to pay homage to the After Hours Athletes. PUMA South Africa opened the Braamfontein version in 2012 and closed it a year later. It showcased some of South Africa's best local music talent, such as Desmond and the Tutus, Gazelle, The Frown, The Muffinz, Matt Suttner and Spoek Mathambo.

“Covid affected all aspects of operations in Puma retail,” said Marsha. “However, with quick response from our team all measures were put in place to protect staff and clients. After the hard lockdown in 2020, sanitisers and screens and masks were used by staff and a limited number of customers were allowed into the store at a time. Those staff who contracted the virus were obviously given time off to recover and any store with a confirmed case was immediately closed, decontaminated and reopened a day later. As the lockdowns eased, there was a gradual return of our loyal customers.”

During the lockdown period PUMA Select hosted the PUMA Select Sessions virtually, which provided entertainment for those stuck at home, and stimulated the local music scene by paying artists to perform.

Thanks to the help of a revolutionary football boot, a 1970 World Cup marketing stunt featuring Pelé (as soon as the opening whistle was blown, the referee tied Pelé’s shoelaces, giving millions of viewers a close-up of his PUMAs) and a close relationship with sports and athletes, the brand has become huge in sneaker culture. There’s also a long list of celebrities who wear PUMA, including actors Chris Evans (Captain America) and Matthew McConaughey, Canadian singer The Weekend, rapper Big Sean and local actress Nomzamo Mbatha.

These days PUMA doesn’t only sell footwear: if you take a look at the PUMA official site, you’ll find tracksuits, T-shirts, boxer shorts, bags and hats — for men, women and children.

The Braamfontein store can be found on the corner of De Korte and Melle streets, Braamfontein. Phone: 087 230 7306,or write to Johannesburg-Braamfontein.ZA@puma.com