Dr. Regina Henkel
Dr. Regina Henkel

Design, concept, technology: The most exciting store openings of the year 2017

From Berlin to Vancouver: You should know these sports new sports stores

Things are happening in sports retail: These are the most interesting store openings of the year 2017. Included are three stores in Germany.

The sports shoe store Just Play in Verona was created in collaboration with Nike.
The sports shoe store Just Play in Verona was created in collaboration with Nike.

In times of digitization, the direct experience of stationary shopping is gaining more and more importance. This can also be seen in the new sports stores opened this year. The development of one’s own, distinctive store design is playing an ever bigger role.

The stores are meant to inspire, evoke emotions, not just be a place to make purchases. The purchase is becoming a secondary matter. After all, this isn’t just true for the big players with their highly designed flagship stores, fortunately it’s also for  multibrand retailers on flat land. We show you the best new sports stores of 2017.

Arc’teryx flagship store in Vancouver, Canada

The new Arc’teryx flagship store opened June of this year in Vancouver, the brand’s hometown. Embedded in the roughly 300 square meter store on Burrard Street, in an impressively urban environment that’s also reflected within: rustic wood meets delicate light bands, concrete, and cement flooring.

The product offerings fulfill the same balancing act: Presented next to the classic Arc’teryx equipment is also the Veilance collection – a high-tech clothing line for men designed for the city, sold in only a few, select fashion stores around the world.

The store also has a Repair Bar and a Community Space, where up to date information on climbing conditions in the area are published and events can take place, such as the current virtual reality tour “Hut Magic.”

Asics flagship store in London, UK

This year, Asics opened its largest global flagship store on London’s Regent Street. At the same time, it’s also the first store worldwide to present all of Asics’ brands under one roof: Asics, Asics Tiger, Onitsuka Tiger, and Haglöfs.

Among the store’s highlight are live plant installations on the ceilings, a free juice bar, and an in-house DJ booth. The store also has a ton of  technical refinements on offer: There are four Asics Motion ID areas offering sensor-based running analyses, a robot-controlled shoe delivery system , and robot arms in the display window.

Asics is in the process of massive investment in the opening of new retail destinations. The 840 square meter flagship is one of several new stars Asics is currently opening worldwide, among them in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and New York. The reason is simple: Asics’ brand stores showed a climb in revenue of 18 percent last year. In the next three years, the number of Asics stores in the EMEA regions is set to grow from 26 to 140.

Since this year, customers have been able to find the Asics flagship store on Regent Street in London.
Since this year, customers have been able to find the Asics flagship store on Regent Street in London.

Asport Scoop (86) in Ingeldorf, Luxembourg

Scoop (86) is a sneaker store and the new, experimental retails concept by the Luxembourgian company Asport, which started in June. Scoop (86) has a glass facade on its street side that lets passersby see a futuristic pattern of white, octagonal tiling, inspired by the art of origami.

These stylized elements are broken up by the installation of rough wooden flooring and sneaker walls in concrete. Specializing in sportswear and shoes, the store, which actually refers to itself as a club, aims to focus on inviting customers to interact. Thus there are flexible areas where customers can customize their purchased products.

In addition, every month will see the celebration of the premier of a new sneaker model or designer collaboration.  The concept was developed by the Belgian agency Nightingale.

Berg-Loft in Wiesbaden, Germany

The new store by Maloja, opened with franchise partners in Wiesbaden in the fall, is called Berg-Loft, and is the advancement of the already existing MTB store Bike-Loft. The 130 square meter store is now the sixth Maloja flagship store.

Five others are located in Aschau (Germany), Oberstdorf (Germany), Innsbruck (Austria), and Seoul (South Korea). The Maloja store in Munich is self-operated. Typical to Maloja, the establishment presents itself as a combination of alpine style and vintage elements, such as the integrated retro kitchen.

The store concept for the 4.5 meter-high rooms was developed by Susanne Stacheder. The execution was carried out by Toni Grasmeier, in cooperation with employees of Maloja.

The Berg-Loft in Wiesbaden is Maloja's sixth flagship store.
The Berg-Loft in Wiesbaden is Maloja's sixth flagship store.

Just Play in Verona, Italy

Just Play is a new chain of sportswear stores for children between the ages of four and fourteen, developed in cooperation with Nike Inc. The first store opened in March, in Verona’s brand new Adigeo Shopping Center. The new retail brand, which sells the brands Nike, Converse, Hurley, and Jordan, aims to fulfill the growing, specific needs of preschool children and young schoolchildren.

This included the task of offering the young target group a place with which they can identify, where they can play and practice sports. Several digital elements were also integrated. Fitting the habits of Millennials, the store offers maximum connectivity and the option to actively interact with multimedia technologies.

Located in the center of the store is a tree of tablets and monitors displaying products and all kinds of games. The concept was developed by Italian design office Studio Apostoli.

KM20 in Moscow, Russia

KM20 is anything but a classic sports store. This year, the concept store by owner Olga Karput changed its location in Moscow, and is appearing much larger, with approx. 2500 square meters on three floors.

Its special feature: KM20 combines expensive, avantgarde fashion with streetwear, sports, and trendy lifestyle products. The newly built structure shows naked walls and ceilings, thus creating a backdrop that’s both raw and flexible at the same time.

The floor is cast in concrete, upon which a plethora of tailormade furniture, accoutrements, and structures have been developed, in some cases in collaboration with fashion designers and brands. The ground floor is the home of streetwear and sports brands, as well as sneakers.

km20 combines expensive avant-garde fashion with streetwear, sports and trendy lifestyle products.
km20 combines expensive avant-garde fashion with streetwear, sports and trendy lifestyle products.

Outsiders Store in Liverpool, UK

Outsiders Store opened in Liverpool’s lively Slater Street in October. It’s a concept store aligned towards to the new target group of urban outdoorspeople, offering authentic outdoor and heritage workwear brands along with accessories and camping equipment.

The design is inspired by hippie culture but, by using modern materials and processes, brought to the cutting edge. Where possible handcrafted techniques, like silkscreen wall art or stools with cushions made of old climbing ropes, were incorporated. The effect is quiet and airy, using light-colored woods and white walls.

Flexibility and sustainability also play a role: This way, the goods carriers can be easily changed and the wall blackboards can be modified. This uses, for instance, sustainably obtained wood, several recycled materials, and low-energy light sourced. The store’s design was a collaboration between WDC Creative, Quantum4, and the creative team of Outsiders Store.

Intersport Future Store in Berlin, Germany

With the newly opened Future Store in Berlin’s “Alexa” shopping center in October, Intersport is makings digitization its full focus. Thanks to virtual reality, customers can immerse themselves in all kinds of sports worlds or browse the gigantic product range via touchscreen.

“Magic mirrors” also make it possible to call store employees to the changing area in the blink of an eye for further consultation, and with the latest 3D scan technology, everyone can fit the absolutely perfect shoe for their foot shape. In addition, the redesigned store now shines even more consistently in the brand colors of red and blue.

With VR technology, customers can immerse themselves in a wide variety of sports worlds in the new Intersport Future Store.
With VR technology, customers can immerse themselves in a wide variety of sports worlds in the new Intersport Future Store.

Sport Förg in Friedberg, Germany

The roughly 5,000  square-meter sports house was opened in late September in the Segmüller area in Friedberg (near Augsburg), Germany. From the beginning on, it was important to the operators that Sport Förg in Friedberg not look  like a conventional sports house. Nevertheless, the sporting spirit is palpable through and through: “Do you have the will? We have the gear” reads the wall, oversized and easily visible from the outside.

Sports and exercise also dominate the store’s concept: The establishment is designed for maximum flexibility. The sleek basic design forms a uniform foundation for all sectors. Figures like  oversized 3D puzzles made of polygonal wooden parts attached to the wall  define the individual departments.

The stairs,  entirely made of wood, execute the play with movement in their own way: in their center, a slide leads down into the Children’s department. With a width of up to eleven meters, the stairs serve as a seating surface, event surface, and offers lots of leeway for decorations. Other highlights: interactive skiing simulator SkyTechSport, an integrated sports studio, modern foot measurement systems, and the real testing station for hiking boots. The concept was developed by Konrad Knoblauch GmbH. 

The North Face Urban Exploration store in Berlin, Germany

In the brand-new The North Face Urban Exploration store in Berlin, the brand is presenting a new store concept. Instead of outdoor equipment, this location exclusively sells its urban lifestyle collection and brand collaborations, as well as the exclusive Japan line “Black Series,” making this the only place the line is available on the European mainland.

The store opened in early November on Münzstraße, and is the second of its kind in Europe. The first European Urban Exploration store was opened in London. Moreover, there are other stores in Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Shanghai.

The North Face opened its second Urban Exploration Store in Berlin in November.
The North Face opened its second Urban Exploration Store in Berlin in November.

Vèlo7 in Poznań, Poland

Vèlo7 is a group of bicycle enthusiasts that wanted to share their passion with others. That is why they opened a store for premium bicycles in September. The result is a multifunctional space that can simultaneously be used as a bicycle store, service station, and repair workshop.

The store’s layout is guided by the construction of a wheel, with a center as the hub in the middle and the individual zones constructed as spokes. The design comes from Mode:lina Achitekci.

Dr. Regina Henkel
Dr. Regina Henkel

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