Welsh Rugby Union unveils new store concept

Welsh Rugby Union’s flagship store at Westgate Street, adjacent to Principality Stadium in Cardiff, now boasts a fresh design concept to bring it up to date with the modern demands of sports retail. Shopper experience company, The Shopper Agency was tasked with designing a space that could cope with large volumes of shoppers, but that would also appeal to the unique wants and needs of sports fans today. The revamped space had to be effective and practical yet deliver a rewarding and memorable shopper experience that meets the excitement of match day – identified by Shopper’s team of insight specialists.

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Working closely with Welsh Rugby’s retail partner, Fanatics, The Shopper Agency immersed itself in the new WRU brand proposition to assist in developing a communications strategy that flowed throughout the store, aligning the shopper experience with the WRU brand positioning and ethos.

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Taking into consideration the different match day and non-match day experiences, the team set about planning the store layout for natural customer flow and flexible merchandising layouts. From in-store communication through to navigation, lighting and fixture design, Shopper wanted to make the store easy to shop, as well as an inspiring space in which to begin or finish a stadium visit.

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The new format is a celebration of Welsh Rugby, dialling up the brand ethos of community, heritage and equality. The space has been completely opened up, creating some great vistas across store. It has a contemporary look and feel, with hints of urban culture and style to echo a modern Wales. Lighting levels have been dropped to create a more theatrical ambience and the use of red LED accent lights gives the space a red background buzz.

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'The Shopper Agency fully understood the brief – and Welsh Rugby’s brand – from the outset, delivering a design concept which ticked all the boxes, creating a significantly enhanced customer experience for Welsh Rugby fans. They’ve also included some cleverly thought through touchpoints which bring WRU’s brand values to life within the fully transformed store environment,' says Claire Matthews, head of partnerships at Fanatics.

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