How Adidas is keeping its flagships relevant as retail goes phygital

London – How does one of the world’s best-known retailers make new impressions on markets where it’s already very well-established? For Adidas, the answer is simple, given today’s retailscape: massive flagships powered by digital-driven features and complemented by hyperlocal details. The new strategy can be seen in action in New York, Paris and now, on London’s Oxford Street.

A collaboration between the multinational corporation and design consultancy firm Brinkworth, the four-storey, 2,787-sq-m London flagship – directly opposite Selfridges – upgrades a former location next door.  Adidas’ chief sales officer Roland Auschel told Vogue Business that the move was warranted because that store was ‘simply too small and outdated’. The decision appears even more justified considering how heavy foot traffic is in the area: the publication reports that, in London’s West End, sales from international shoppers have not decreased – rather, they have increased by 12 per cent in the last year.

Which makes Oxford Street the perfect place for Adidas to test what consumers respond to best. ‘We have created numerous activation spaces allowing the store to react to the community’s needs,’ says Lisa Crutchley, associate director at Brinkworth. ‘There is scope for product launches and engaging events, so people can gather, discover and participate as well as shop.’ After passing through the London Stadia-inspired façade – activated by semi-transparent screens displaying live digital content – shoppers are welcomed into the main activation space, the Launch Zone. It’s a large area that is built to host pop-ups, installations and events. Digital features throughout the sprawling store include fitting rooms with RFID mirror technology, a hanging chandelier, personalized concierge service and Hype Wall featuring exclusive product drops, all integrated by an in-store app.

It was also a priority for Adidas and the design team that the store feel authentic to its British surroundings. Brinkworth built upon the material palette of the retailer’s previous stores, incorporating new finishes, fixtures and systems that reference local sports environments. One example is a customizable Footwear Display System, prototyped, tested and developed by Brinkworth. Galvanized steel grating – found in athletic grounds across the UK – forms the stair balustrades. Existing interior walls are surfaced in clay plaster render, while new ones are dressed in stack-bonded breeze block. Under foot is exposed aggregate concrete finished with grey concrete-effect resin, ‘evoking a traditional London pebbledash’. The store's sections are partitioned by linit glass, allowing light to pass through.

The effort extends to the smallest details. Developed by communications partner Dent International, the signage and way-finding might strike you as familiar – they recall that from London’s stadiums.

brinkworth.com

adidas.com

Location 415-419 Oxford St, London W1C 2PG

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