Creating a warm home-like atmosphere for the costumers and providing a personal service, next to extracting the hottest sneaker trends from the flooded sneakers market are the most important ingredients for a successful store, according to Katrin Pfaffl and Lukas Steuernagel, the owners of Sneaker Circle in Marburg (Germany). With a lot of passion for customers, retail and the products, the two former business management students made their hobby into their profession – wearing and collecting sneakers. Interview by Alexandra Spiegel

Within the overwhelming sneakers offer at the moment, what are the current bestsellers in your store?
As easy to guess, Nike is one of the favored brands. The market leader is very popular with us and our customers. Very often people ask for Nike Air Max 1, Air Max 90 or Air Max Thea for women, followed by new silhouettes like the Nike Rosherun. But also New Balance is - because of the good price-performance ratio and quality - extremely in demand. Especially the 420 models are a good mix of sporty and classy style. In personal we are fans of the Asics Gel series, the Gel Lyte III and Gel Lyte V. Our current prices range between 80 Euro and 150 Euro. Who doesn’t want to spend on a Nike Air Max, can also find great styles at an entry-level price. New brands we’ve included to our product range are Puma and from next season on we will start with Reebok and Pony.

Inside the cozy Sneaker Circle store
Inside the cozy Sneaker Circle store

Where do you buy your products and stay up-to-date with sneaker trends?

The biggest part of the collections we buy directly from salespersons or at brand showrooms. That also provides the opportunity to talk about the state of the business in general. Furthermore, we regularly visit trade shows like the Bread & Butter in Berlin. Social media channels are another relevant channel, to connect with others and to catch up on new trends. Also fashion and trade magazines are interesting sources. On the one hand it’s difficult to stay up-to-date within the growing sneakers market, because there are constantly new models and technologies. On the other hand it can be easy, when you inform yourself online and have good suppliers who support you.

Trend models: Nike Air Max and Nike Rosherun
Trend models: Nike Air Max and Nike Rosherun
Which sneaker trend awaits us in fall/winter 2014?
The summer trend – all-black, all-white and neon-styles – will continue in the fall/winter 2014 season. Moreover, animal-prints and retro-colorways are still in high demand.

What makes your shop unique?
The personal atmosphere is special about our store. Our store is like our living room, in which every sneaker collector or “newcomer” is welcomed. The furniture is deliberately chosen in a comfortable and cozy style, which reflects our taste. A clean design wouldn’t work in the middle of the old part of Marburg. We also hear often from our customers that they feel at home and well advised. Most of our key costumers visit the store regularly, not always to buy something, but also for a little chat, which is absolutely ok.

Sneaker Circle in Marburg's historic quarter
Sneaker Circle in Marburg's historic quarter
Do you also run an online shop and social media channels?
Yes, we do run an online shop. Today it’s indispensable, but it’s not our focus. A lot of customers use the shop to inform themselves, before they visit our store. The stationary trade is much more important for us. Social media channels like Facebook play an important role, because of its high number of users.

Sneaker Circle
Augustinergasse 2
35037 Marburg