Leeds United Football Club has unveiled two new flagship stores at the Elland Road ground and in Leeds Trinity shopping centre. These stores mark a giant leap from a standard store to a retail destination for the 35,000-plus fans attending home games, and fans worldwide. With its storied history and iconic status in the North of England, the challenge for Roar was to create a space that brings the emotion and cultural connection the region has with the club back into the store. Making it feel less like a normal shop and more like the experience of going to a game – a space fans can be proud of.
There were several practical considerations in the brief such as increasing the holding capacity by a third, addressing the flow of the store, reducing waiting time, increasing items by basket and upping overall turnover by 20 per cent. Ultimately, though, Roar needed to create an experience that feels unmistakably Leeds United.
Details familiar to Elland Road – the triangles repeated everywhere and the brutalist concrete zigzags on the Revvy North Stand – were brought into the store environment. The putty, imperial blue and antique gold colour palette is a nod to the history of the city of Leeds, in particular the Corn Exchange, but chosen to chime with the club colours and stadium.
Inside the store, new navigation leads customers all around with plenty of space, even on match days, allowing them to easily browse and shop the whole range, with no bottlenecking and a real sense of flow. Bold graphic walls, a new corridor of tills and clean, spacious
concrete merchandising has radically changed the experience.
A blue fence was added outside to the front bringing the store in line with the rest of the stadium, and we repainted the entire exterior in the putty colour used elsewhere around Elland Road. We re-glazed the windows, flooding the store with natural light, and replaced the railings and signage – giving the store a consistent branded look from every angle.
'We went to Roar because we didn’t just want any football store, we wanted the football store. We worked together every step of the way to make sure we got what we needed without compromising the design, so every fan could enjoy a fantastic experience. A 25 per cent growth in sales to in our first week is obviously a huge benefit for the Club – but the positive response from our fans has to be the most rewarding thing,' says Simon Moss, head of retail development at LUFC.
The stores were designed by Roar and manufacturered by MWC Group, with materials by Earth Anatomy.
Photography: Sam Austin