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Store Check – OVERKILL BerlinStore Check – Berlin’s OVERKILL

 In Features

From Here to Fame

Store Check – Berlin’s OVERKILL

Here’s the first part of our interview with Overkill’s Marc – you can read the rest of it in our current issue!

If you consider yourself part of the sneaker cosmos and you haven’t heard about Overkill, you must have been sleeping for years. It’s an institution and one of the few German stores with international fame and recognition. Besides a great selection in both the graffiti and sneaker segments, it’s the Overkill crew, which made it all possible. And although it’s almost impossible to count the growing number of heads behind the store, it’s always been Marc, aka “Joker”, who’s been in the center of the spotlight. Overkill is the proof that you can only be successful as a sneaker store if you know what you’re doing and bring the right sneaker attitude. Here’s a thorough look into the newly renovated store and a conversation with the crew.

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Please provide a quick introduction to OVERKILL, the people behind the store, and how it all started.

Okay, OVERKILL is backed by an outstanding team together with Thomas and myself, Marc Leuschner, as its owners. Back in 1992, Thomas founded a graffiti magazine under the same title, OVERKILL. The name is derived from the graffiti scene and connotes the moment when the color explodes out of the top of a spray can due to frosty temperatures. In 2003, Thomas opened the OVERKILL graffiti and streetwear store in the Kreuzberg 36 borough of Berlin. The year 2008 saw a complete make-over of the store’s interior, significantly expanding the sales floor with an extra level upstairs. As for me, I joined the team in 2010 and our company now has 19 employees.

OVERKILL originally started out as a graffiti store. What paved the way to it becoming one of the leading sneaker shops?

When the store opened in 2003, the line-up consisted of spray cans, varnishes, marker pens, as well as sneakers, apparel and accessories. This was the concept from day one. The only thing that changed was the ratio of products on offer. Back then, demand for sneakers and corresponding clothing was constantly increasing, and remains so even today. Sneakers are still objects of prestige and must have items on the Berlin streets.
Currently our collection has grown to include over 800 different sneaker models. Our recipe for success: No matter if it’s Adidas, Nike, Asics, Puma, Reebok, KangaROOS, New Balance, Saucony etc. – anyone visiting our store will be sure to go home with the perfect pair of sneakers for them. Our selection makes us unique and stand out from the rest, it gives another meaning to the name OVERKILL: SNEAKER HEAVEN equals OVERKILL!

Was it always like this or how long did it take to reach this point? When did you make the biggest expansions in terms of staff?

There wasn’t really a concrete time frame. The biggest changes were implemented in 2008, with the expansion of the store, addition of the apparel floor and re-design of the interior – all of which have facilitated our growth. The biggest expansion in terms of staff happened between 2013 and today. We expanded our store team and also added new segments to the office team such as marketing, PR and also additions our graphic design team.

Looking at your team, it instantly becomes apparent that most employees have a strong connection to sneakers. Is that an important requirement when selecting your staff?

You guys probably know best that a love for sneakers can really bond people together. An affinity for sneakers is clearly a must, working day-in and day-out with shoes requires some kind of affiliation with the scene. This is especially important when it comes to sales – we only want to offer our customers the best-possible guidance – and who’s better suited for that than a real “sneaker head”? Our team includes some well-known collectors who have been active in the scene for a number of years. And some who might not consider themselves collectors but still extremely passionate about footwear and always keen to keep up to date with the latest news. It’s like in any other business – knowing your product is everything. You don’t buy butter from a beekeeper, right?

[…]

Read the rest of our 6-pages interview with Overkill Marc in our current issue of Sneakers Magazine!

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IMG_7517From Here to Fame

Store Check – Berlin’s OVERKILL

Here’s the first part of our interview with Overkill’s Marc – you can read the rest of it in our current issue!

If you consider yourself part of the sneaker cosmos and you haven’t heard about Overkill, you must have been sleeping for years. It’s an institution and one of the few German stores with international fame and recognition. Besides a great selection in both the graffiti and sneaker segments, it’s the Overkill crew, which made it all possible. And although it’s almost impossible to count the growing number of heads behind the store, it’s always been Marc, aka “Joker”, who’s been in the center of the spotlight. Overkill is the proof that you can only be successful as a sneaker store if you know what you’re doing and bring the right sneaker attitude. Here’s a thorough look into the newly renovated store and a conversation with the crew.

IMG_7289

Please provide a quick introduction to OVERKILL, the people behind the store, and how it all started.

Okay, OVERKILL is backed by an outstanding team together with Thomas and myself, Marc Leuschner, as its owners. Back in 1992, Thomas founded a graffiti magazine under the same title, OVERKILL. The name is derived from the graffiti scene and connotes the moment when the color explodes out of the top of a spray can due to frosty temperatures. In 2003, Thomas opened the OVERKILL graffiti and streetwear store in the Kreuzberg 36 borough of Berlin. The year 2008 saw a complete make-over of the store’s interior, significantly expanding the sales floor with an extra level upstairs. As for me, I joined the team in 2010 and our company now has 19 employees.

OVERKILL originally started out as a graffiti store. What paved the way to it becoming one of the leading sneaker shops?

When the store opened in 2003, the line-up consisted of spray cans, varnishes, marker pens, as well as sneakers, apparel and accessories. This was the concept from day one. The only thing that changed was the ratio of products on offer. Back then, demand for sneakers and corresponding clothing was constantly increasing, and remains so even today. Sneakers are still objects of prestige and must have items on the Berlin streets.
Currently our collection has grown to include over 800 different sneaker models. Our recipe for success: No matter if it’s Adidas, Nike, Asics, Puma, Reebok, KangaROOS, New Balance, Saucony etc. – anyone visiting our store will be sure to go home with the perfect pair of sneakers for them. Our selection makes us unique and stand out from the rest, it gives another meaning to the name OVERKILL: SNEAKER HEAVEN equals OVERKILL!

Was it always like this or how long did it take to reach this point? When did you make the biggest expansions in terms of staff?

There wasn’t really a concrete time frame. The biggest changes were implemented in 2008, with the expansion of the store, addition of the apparel floor and re-design of the interior – all of which have facilitated our growth. The biggest expansion in terms of staff happened between 2013 and today. We expanded our store team and also added new segments to the office team such as marketing, PR and also additions our graphic design team.

Looking at your team, it instantly becomes apparent that most employees have a strong connection to sneakers. Is that an important requirement when selecting your staff?

You guys probably know best that a love for sneakers can really bond people together. An affinity for sneakers is clearly a must, working day-in and day-out with shoes requires some kind of affiliation with the scene. This is especially important when it comes to sales – we only want to offer our customers the best-possible guidance – and who’s better suited for that than a real “sneaker head”? Our team includes some well-known collectors who have been active in the scene for a number of years. And some who might not consider themselves collectors but still extremely passionate about footwear and always keen to keep up to date with the latest news. It’s like in any other business – knowing your product is everything. You don’t buy butter from a beekeeper, right?

[…]

Read the rest of our 6-pages interview with Overkill Marc in our current issue of Sneakers Magazine!

IMG_7193

IMG_7212

IMG_7254

IMG_7345

IMG_7420

IMG_7436

IMG_7452

IMG_7517

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