Store opening: August 2017
Store size: 840 sq m
Sportswear retailer ASICS has opened the doors to its largest global retail store, located on Regent Street in London. Featuring all four ASICS brands under one roof for the first time (ASICS, ASICS Tiger, Onitsuka Tiger and Haglöfs), the state-of-the-art retail space has been designed by Brinkworth and will bring to life the ASICS ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’ philosophy. The store showcases how ASICS can be part of every area of their lives and opens a new channel for the brand to reach a wider variety of shoppers.
'Our world is changing rapidly and our business is growing alongside this to become a leader in creating valued consumer connections. This store represents a statement that we are one brand that can deliver products for an active lifestyle and through our digital communities, apps and consumer interaction we will also inspire people to move, and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of exercise,' says Alistair Cameron, CEO ASICS EMEA.
Under the guidance of lead designer Sam Derrick, the store brings together the four Asics brands whilst maintaining a clear distinction between each. 'Innovative digital technologies are included throughout the store to enhance the customer journey, and make the store into a destination worthy of its prominent location,' says a spokesperson for Brinkworth.
'The new Regent Street flagship is the first time all four ASICS brands are presented together in the same space. The two lifestyle brands, Onitsuka Tiger and Asics Tiger, occupy half of the ground floor space, whilst the performance-focused Asics is showcased on the other half and in the basement, alongside Swedish outdoors brand Haglofs. Each brand is represented with its own distinctive visual language attuned to its specific focus,' explains the Brinkworth spokesperson.
'The concept aims to express the innovation and technical excellence of the ASICS brand through innovative and technical exploration and production, balanced with warm, human finishes and a world class service offer.'
The new approach offers consumers a fully integrated, holistic sports environment brought to life in an innovative and elevated shopping experience where both the mind and the body are stimulated. The ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’ ethos of the brand is consistently channelled through the use of living plant installations, sustainable products, natural wood finishes, LED lighting and technology, as well as a complimentary juice bar and in-house DJ booth.
Digital touchpoints feature throughout the store to allow customers to make informed choices about which product is most appropriate to their needs. X-Y plotter technology picks the requested shoebox from the rack and deposits it in a chute to either ground floor or basement, for fast and efficient delivery of shoes. Robotic arms in the window serve to explain and demonstrate key products to passers-by. Bleacher seating and juice dispenser taps make the store a destination where customers can hang out, with the kinetic lighting feature extending the full width of the ground floor to animate the space.
In the Motion ID area staff use sensors to assess a customer’s running style in order to provide more specific product advice. The customisation area contains a body scanner to create personalised 3D printed tights and Foot Balance machines to form custom moulded insoles.
Intuitive robotic arms placed in the shop window, and kinetic lighting runs parallel to the shop floor with different colours pulsating at the same pace as the heart rate of a 100m sprinter.
The materials and colour palette take their cues from the brand’s Japanese heritage, and from the ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’ ethos. 'Maple slat walls and flooring provide a warmth that offsets the concrete and steel elements. Stainless steel is used in various finishes to unify the different brands,' says the Brinkworth spokesperson.
'The design concept makes use of the existing shell of the building to give each store a sense of locality; in the case of Regent Street this includes a historic listed ceiling. A new void was cut in the floor slab around the existing staircase to create a better connection between the ground floor and basement, revealing riveted steel beams.'
'Our new Regent Street store is a beacon for the ASICS DNA. Through the innovative retail space consumers can physically interact with the brand witnessing the technology, breadth of product and "Sound Mind, Sound Body" philosophy. We will take all of the positive elements of this state-of-the-art offering and translate it through further store openings across the globe, as well as, our shop-in-shop and e-commerce platforms. Direct to Consumer represents a strong part of the ASICS future and this is just the start,' says Scott Wakefield, direct to consumer director, ASICS EMEA.
Coinciding with the flagship store launch, ASICS unveiled its most significant marketing initiative in 25 years – launching a new global brand message, identity, retail concept and integrated brand activation across the globe – kicking off in London. The ‘I MOVE ME’ creative is being unveiled initially across London through a creative activation, OOH and in stadium signage at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics – of which ASICS is an official partner. Launched in July ahead of the global campaign ‘#IMoveLondon’ is the first of many local manifestations of the I MOVE ME initiative – an expression to inspire a new generation of people to move themselves more to achieve the physical and mental benefits of exercise.
The Regent Street space is one of many new openings as part of a drive to create more physical brand stores in major city centres, including Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York.