Adding a social element to the retail environment creates an opportunity to develop a deeper, more personal relationship with consumers. One category that we’re seeing make great strides in this approach is the sports apparel and footwear category. We’ve watched brands evolve from just selling products to supporting a lifestyle. Lululemon, a pioneer in the yoga lifestyle category, has paved the way for many to follow.
Reebok recently made the move to capitalize on one of the hottest fittest trends of the moment, CrossFit. For those not familiar with CrossFit, it’s a high-intensity workout that incorporates such activities as weightlifting, powerlifting, kettlebells, medicine balls and box jumps. You can check out this Reebok CrossFit video to see more of what it’s all about.
As the title sponsor for the annual CrossFit Games, it makes sense why Reebok would want to bring that energy into a retail space. The Reebok CrossFit store on Fifth Avenue combines the retail and gym experience. The main level, referred to as the “Fit Hub,” offers product for every skill level and expert staff to help you find the product right for you.
Within the space, material cues like rope, metal bars and oversized tires give a nod to the intensity of the sport—these classic fitness items also some of the equipment used for workouts. Also adding some authenticity to the experience are the active, athletic mannequins within the space, giving the customer a fairly accurate representation of the product.
On the lower level of the store is the CrossFit gym, referred to as “the Box.” Visitors are able to utilize pull-up bars, ropes and rings, free weights, kettle bells, rowing machines and jump ropes for individual or team competitions. Trained CrossFit coaches are also available to lead and teach weekly workout groups. Click here for a behind the scenes look at the store and first hand perspective from CrossFit athletes.
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Nike Training Club
Reebok is not alone in their efforts. Earlier this year, Nike launched their first ever Nike Training Club (NTC), geared to women’s athletic wear and fitness. The space is designed to be a women’s resource for “training, running and living.” The two-story building in Chicago’s Lincoln Park offers retail product on the ground floor; the second level is for the use of complimentary classes—things like yoga and Pilates.
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Adidas launched a dedicated running concept store in Tokyo, Adidas Runbase, that combines aspects of a running club and retail store, complete with lockers, shower stalls and refreshments. The store also holds running-themed workshops, clinics and events at least once a week. While you can still buy (and even customize) product in-store, this store is clearly about more than just selling product; by incorporating unique amenities in a convenient way, it’s about a complete runner’s experience.
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Catching on to the popularity of specialty stores catering to niche consumer needs, Dick’s launched the True Runner concept in Pittsburgh that is geared towards running enthusiasts. Customers will find all the necessary footwear and apparel needs as well as complimentary services like gait analysis and sports bra fittings. The store connects at a more intimate level than their big-box stores by being able to promote local community events and activities. It’s a store designed “for runners by runners” and caters to the everyday needs of those trying to maintain an active lifestyle.
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One brand catering to a younger fitness consumer should come as no surprise—it’s the one and only Lululemon with the launch of sister brand ivivva athletica. Geared to the 6 to 14 age group, ivivva was created for active girls, specifically dancers and gymnasts. And much like the weekly yoga classes that Lululemon offers for their customers, ivivva offers weekly dances classes. Check out this video to see a glimpse of the energy embraced by the ivivva brand. This could be a demographic to watch in terms of creating brand followers at a younger age and helping support the efforts towards keeping our youth active.
Featured Image via Reebok