After four years in the Galleria, Ken Haggerty, owner of Agenda Houston, a successful and popular Black-owned urban sneaker and streetwear retailer, has been told he can no longer operate out of his current store, and that he may be relocated to another part of the mall.
The reason? According to Haggerty, the popular Houston mall recently signed an exclusive deal with a new client.
In response, Haggerty is considering moving its entire operation from the Galleria to a new flagship store in Upper Kirby. And he wants other small businesses to know about his situation.
“I think it’s important for the community overall to know about this situation because there are many small business owners in Houston and we all have the same goal: to grow and expand,” said Haggerty. “If there are roadblocks like this in the way, how can we make it to the next level?”
Sneakers and resale retro kicks are a huge part of Agenda’s story and success, and Haggerty believes he is being singled out and “pushed out” by Galleria Mall owner Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall owner, and A Sneaker City, a multi-state retail operator whose business model mirrors Agenda’s as a premier buy/sell/trade store for fashion sneakers and streetwear.
“We have been good tenants and very successful partners in the Galleria Mall for four years,” said Haggerty. “The shoes are my passion; my bread and butter. They’re what Agenda is known for. To have the mall suddenly tell me I can no longer sell shoes, just clothing, because they negotiated a deal with another vendor, significantly impacts my business model, my customers
and my revenue. They never offered me an opportunity to submit a competitive offer, and to the best of my knowledge, they haven’t told anyone else in the mall they can’t sell shoes anymore, just me. It all feels very targeted and discriminatory.”
In addition, Haggerty, whose store has a temporary lease, was told he may have to move his retail store to a different location in the mall, without explanation, and his repeated requests for a long-term lease at the Galleria Mall, which other merchants have received, have gone unanswered by Simon Property Group.
Simon Property Group has yet to respond to Defender requests for comments.
“When you’re in a temporary lease, they essentially can move you anytime they want. They came to me to move my current store to another part of the mall that has way less foot traffic, along with being less than half the size of my current store. That’s when I was told my lease would be changed and I could not sell shoes anymore because of another shoe store, similar to mine, coming into the mall. I tried to offer more money per month in rent, or even ask if I could stay through the holidays, but I was given no response.”
Haggerty said he had no choice but to sign the space offered at the Galleria, even though he’s still not able to sell shoes.
“Because of this situation, this is why we’ve decided to build the flagship store on Kirby, opening next month [October],” said Haggerty.
“I and my team hope that everyone comes out to the new location off Kirby & 59. We are putting a lot of work into making this new store the best shopping experience possible for our customers.”
ABOUT KEN HAGGERTY
Haggerty, whose life-long love affair with sneakers inspired him to launch his own urban apparel business, built Agenda from the ground up. The Baytown native worked at Footlocker throughout high school and started collecting and reselling the industry’s hottest sneakers at age 16. He later began selling streetwear to friends at his house as a side hustle before launching his first retail clothing store in Deerfield Plaza in 2016.
Haggerty owned and operated stores at Deerbrook Mall in Humble and Baybrook Mall in Friendswood when he leased space at the Galleria Mall in 2018. He launched a new shoe line at Agenda when Nike released the Travis Scott Air Jordan 4s in June 2018,and with 60 pairs of the exclusive shoes, the event drew a line of customers that stretched out the door and heightened demand for shoes at Agenda.
Agenda’s fashion-forward lineup of influential designers and upscale urban shoes and streetwear became so successful at the Galleria, Haggerty closed his additional retail stores and expanded his space at the Houston mall. His styling expertise and ability to build relationships with the movers and shakers of the hip-hop and urban wear community has made Agenda a stand-out brand among competitors, drawing in names like Stunna 4 Vegas, Sauce Walka, and Don Toliver, among others, to his Galleria store for the latest fashions in a rapidly evolving urban streetwear market.
Haggerty has been planning to expand the Agenda brand with a fall launch of a big new flagship store in Upper Kirby, at 3300 Kirby Dr, that will feature an even more extensive inventory, a big shoe wall, and VIP Lounge for celebrity clients. The store, which will be opening soon, was meant to be an extension of the brand and an addition to the successful Galleria location. However, the new venue may be the only Agenda store in Houston due to the restrictions being imposed on Haggerty at the Galleria. Haggerty’s attorney has contacted Simon Property Group to address the preservation of Agenda’s successful business model and the possibility of a fair and equitable lease in its current space in the mall.