Last week the well known fitness retailer Gymshark announced that they had signed an 18-year lease for their first flagship store situated in prime shopping territory – Regent Street, London. It got the Nifty team thinking about the age-old debate: has the high street had its day and is it now time for the internet and the likes of online retailers such as Amazon to take over, or is it simply the customer experience that needs a reboot?
Many brands are now following suit and focusing more on the experience itself, meaning it is no longer just a shop but a memorable moment, inviting consumers to immerse themselves into their world. Time to look at some great examples:
Say hello to Gymshark
Gymshark are planning on opening the doors of their shiny new store sometime next year, communicating to their audience that the rationale behind this big move is one which stems from gratitude and appreciation for their support since launching. Ben Francis, Founder and Chief Executive, explains: “We are nothing without our community, so we wanted to create something that allows us to thank them and get closer to them.
“This store is not going to be like anything you have seen before. It will be an unforgettable experience and we can’t wait to welcome them through the doors next summer.”
Boohoo has a makeover
Boohoo has also taken a leap of faith and opened their first Debenhams beauty store in the heart of Manchester, the Arndale shopping centre, following the fashion retailer’s acquisition of the department store.
The 7,552 square foot shop will aim to connect the online and physical retail worlds by using interactive screens that feature real-time posting via social media platforms, creating the ultimate beauty experience.
Step into ZARA
ZARA’s new concept store has been revamped in South Africa, designed to reflect the mood and the overall brand ethos. The idea behind this is to allow the consumer to essentially walk into the world of Zara, presenting a lookalike dressing room encapsulating the four characteristics that define the architectural philosophy of Zara: simple, functional, sophisticated, and refined.
In a statement ZARA explained: “This aesthetic continues throughout other store elements, such as screens and furniture which are notably curved.”
ZARA explained that its integrated model of stores and online allows the brand to adapt to customers in real-time, offering them the possibility of interacting with fashion in line with their preferences.
Run into the Adidas store
Adidas’ New York City store is packed with interactive offerings including a track where customers can test out shoes and get their stride analysed for a personalised footwear recommendation. The location also has a juice bar and bleachers where you can catch a game on one of the massive flat screens. It’d be almost too easy to spend an entire day in the store!
Visitors can browse shoe colour options that are only available in this location and design customised shoes right in store for a fully exclusive NYC experience. If you’re visiting from out of town, Adidas will have any items you purchase delivered right to your hotel.
Arguably there is still a space for brands to show their presence within the high street, but it has to offer more than just somewhere to purchase a product/experience. The moment the consumer enters the premises they should be transported into the world of that specific brand, providing a memorable experience and one which paints a positive picture of the company and its ethos.