ADIDAS Flagship Store in Paris
It seems that many flagship stores are popping-up on the Champs-Elysées these days. Following the French cosmetic brand Yves Rocher (see my embedded experience in the store Here), it’s now time for ADIDAS to provide its fans with a new flagship store on the so-called “most beautiful avenue in the world”.
Whilst Adidas is competing globally with Nike and Under Armour (see my article about Under Armour’s “Brand House flagship stores” here), I used to consider that the German sport apparel behemoth was not really showing leadership as far as physical retail is concerned. Great opportunity to see what it is all about with this new Parisian store.
I have to admit it right now. Adidas did an amazing job with that store. Even though I sometimes have the feeling that the brand is too conservative compared to its bolder competitors, Adidas treats us with a remarkable retail experience.
Let’s head for a guided tour.
- In the former store, an escalator was located centrally. In the new iteration of its flagship store, Adidas has judiciously removed it. A much larger and convenient space can now host the “Home Court” retail design concept that the brand has already enforced in 5 cities around the world. With 2,300 sqm (+ 300 sqm to be added in the weeks to come) on 2 story, the store is ideally set to showcase Adidas wide range of sport performance apparels as well as lifestyle product line.
- What striked me first is a beautiful wooden staircase that leads to level 1. When it comes to Apple Stores, Steve Jobs was really focused on installing a monumental staircase that would set the tone for the store positioning. Adidas has got it right too. The staircase design is neat, minimalist and elegant. On the rough wall nearby, Adidas icon Leo Messi welcomes us. As we enter the store, we are immediately immersed in the brand experience. That’s what a flagship store is all about!
- Adidas has designed a minimalist, chic and urban store. Rough walls combined with waxed concrete floor and wood and metal furnitures are perfectly brought together. The lighting is beautiful and efficient.
- Visual merchandising inside is insanely great. The mannequins are exactly set the way professional sportsmen technically move and behave, the displays are elegant, creative but simple. Wow.
- The signage system is beautiful as well. Adidas did not ruin the store design with ugly signs and posters everywhere. On the contrary, the brand has used stencil technique (and a beautiful font too) to print a few essential messages and indications. Straightforward, catchy and coherent with the store design. Big up.
- The football shoes and sneakers section has adopted the “Shoebase” concept. The section benefits from a specific setting with a wooden floor and interactive digital displays that help customers to dig in shoe details and technical specifications.
- A series of counters and kiosks are located randomly throughout the store. A print shop, a sneaker customization service and a click and collect counter show that the brand and the store are genuinely service oriented.
- The fitting room looks like an high-end urban fitness club changing room. Not really original in a sport flagship store but the execution is still beautiful.
- On level 1, Adidas has showcased its lifestyle product line where fashion addicts can discover Adidas Originals and Y3 capsule collections.
To wrap up this article, I would like to point out that the Adidas Flagship store is both a brand tribute and a remarkable retail place. Digital innovations are seamlessly merged into the store and really help the visitor to engage deeper with the brand.
Adidas has succeeded in delivering a retail environment where both the “sport performance” and “lifestyle” product lines are equally showcased. The remarkable thing about this is that Adidas did not try to introduce catchy and spectacular features to draw visitor’s attention. It is more subtle and complex than that. I have the feeling that each sqm of the store tells the right and coherent story about Adidas brand DNA and its range of products. And, at the end of the day, the result is efficient and convincing.
How could the store have been even better in my opinion ? Maybe with a more ambitious kid zone and with a coffee and juice bar that would have been the perfect spot to engage with store’s associate and share the passion of sport. Not a big deal in the end.
If you are interested in my “embedded experiences”, click Here.