NEW TRENDS IN THE SPORTS RETAIL
The current health crisis has led to a change in consumer behaviour patterns and their relationship with brands. This new scenario is presented as an accelerator of point-of-sale innovation. Hereafter what these changes mean for the future of the sports retail sector in the physical store, and what megastores are currently responding to this new scenario.
CONCEPT OF PHYGITAL SHOP
The phygital store is presented as a hybrid between e-commerce and the physical store, a concept that seeks to combine the virtues of both channels to create spaces that cannot be replicated in the digital environment.
The best way for the physical store to continue to maintain its value is to be even more connected to the digital channel. Therefore, new technologies are being integrated into stores that offer immersive and personalized experiences to each customer. Examples of these technologies are smart displays with RFID technology, Beacons or Apps to scan mannequins and identify the garments they display, check available sizes and ask an employee to send garments to the fitting room.
EXPERIENTIAL SPORTS STORES
Emotional marketing tools are an indispensable ally for retailers, offering unique experiences in which the essence of the brand is present, in an immersive and multi-sensory way.
A clear reference for an experiential shop is the sports flagship store of Barça Canaletes. A new store concept that, combining the new technologies and iconic elements of Club’s history, seeks to offer the visitor a unique and innovative experience.
This store uses technology to create emotional experiences, for example, visitors are greeted by players in hologram format. We also highlight the central space of the store surrounded by led screens that play the celebrations in the stands of the Camp Nou. For fans of the brand this is an experience with emotional connection.
In contrast, at the Barça store we find decorative elements that refer to the tradition and heritage of the club, such as a replicate of the fountain where victories are held or a foosball with the outstanding players of the club’s history that connects directly with the client.
SUSTAINABLE SPORTS RETAIL
As consumers, we increasingly demand that brands act sustainably. Staying ahead of the curve with eco-friendly store designs is an effective way to communicate brand sustainability values.
Now in stores, instead of hiding recycled materials, circular design processes are enhanced, through a RAW aesthetic. The use of furniture, exhibitors and mannequins of sustainable or recycled materials also helps to transmit sustainability values through their aesthetics.
Recyclable Invictus / Manchester City Store
Creative reuse of materials or upcycling for visual display creation is another trend that is being enhanced in sports stores. Waste generated by brands, including cardboard, plastic or footwear and fabric components, is reused, giving these waste materials a new use in the store.
We also find designs of biophilic stores, an architectural current that evokes natural spaces through preserved plants and vertical gardens to reconnect humans with nature.
BESPOKE SPORTS MANNEQUINS
Currently the offer in sports mannequins is unlimited, these reflect different sports disciplines, we can find everything from football mannequins to tennis mannequins, running mannequins or fitness mannequins.
The change of scenery in sports retail also affects the role that mannequins take in the storefronts and interiors of today’s stores. Mannequins are brand ambassadors in stores, and tend to maximum customization, reflecting the character of the brand’s target.
Barça, for example, has implemented a custom Messi mannequin in a goal-scoring position. Having a mannequin that represents the icon of each brand, helps connect with the public, creating memorable experiences and highlights of the store, visitors do not hesitate to share on social media.
THE SOCIAL ROLE OF THE SPORTS MANNEQUIN
Since their inception, mannequins have always more or less embodied the social models prevailing in each era. Nowadays, the inclusive factor and support for diversity has been gaining prominence, especially among sports brands, resulting in mannequin designs that reflect all kinds of bodies.
Changes in beauty and diversity canons are communicated in stores through mannequins. There are no longer limits of gender, race, size and colour. And this is why the retail industry is promoting now, both on product proposals and on the image that it communicates, to achieve true inclusion and make anyone feel identified with fashion brands.
Photos Sprinter Bilbao