GAP created the Athleta concept to be much more than a ladies fitness apparel and equipment retailer but as a hub for the fitness lifestyle itself.
The concept is completely multi-channel but focused on the neighbourhood communities around each store, selected as aerobic areas with high levels of fitness clubs and activities for ladies of work and leisure with health and fitness at heart.
The stores are understated, but intimate and welcoming.
The atmosphere encourages the customer to browse and to spend time. The assortment is segmented between activity specific apparel & the appropriate equipment displayed with authority and category clarity, through to more leisure lifestyle collections where the presentation is more closely coordinated to that of a boutique.
Around the store scattered information hot spots with news of events, activities and classes in the immediate vicinity, as well as Internet terminals where customers can explore further information as well as the extended Athleta assortment.
GAP has developed some interesting initiatives to propel the concept to the role of leisure hub, such as sponsorship of leading US sportsmen and more local fitness “heroes”, and diverse directories of local classes and clubs.
The retailer has also developed and promotes highly in the store a number of hero MVP products – Most Valuable Performer which give a value twist to what is primarily an assortment based on performance, quality and a fashion premium.
How’s your brand shaping up?
Something pretty peculiar popped up in Islington. The coolest collection of contemporary living from the safest pair of hands in British retail.
Open House was a month long John Lewis pop-up experience exclusively featuring the House collection of Britains favourite retailer. The whole was housed in a two-floor space with the ground level given over to informally segmented room sets, a coffee bar and plenty of open space for activities and seasonal interaction.
From face painting to french fancies, giveaways to guacamole, and guitar greats to gourmet demonstrations the space was fun and fully social, featured through facebook and twitter whilst interestingly anonymous of the official JL site. The lower level served as a film house with selective screening of cool classics, introduced by doyens of the film fraternity to a decidedly select audience.
Open House exploded the John Lewis brand to a younger audience and kepts then coming back for more in this most innovative of omni-channel experiments.
Soho returning to its roots as the 21st Century Jimi Hendrix experience returns to its streets, for a few weeks at least, with the Jimi Hendrix Pop-up
“People, Hell & Angels” is the latest and most authentic posthumous album from the 60’s guitar hero. And to launch the album a unique Pop-up shop has arrived just off Carnaby Street, in a music launch that captures the life & spirit of that bygone, psychadelic age.
The store is home to the entire Hendrix catalgoue collection, merchandise and memorabilia, but to really soak up the Hendrix experience visit the basement. Here Fender, the instrument of choice for the guitar great, has taken its home for 2 weeks, displaying its range of guitars, with hourly masterclasses on re-creating the Hendrix sound for any budding guitar greats.
A fitting tribute to Soho, and a fitting tribute to Hendrix, brought together again 50 years after.
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Undervaluing the role of the pop-up store?
And the Brand played on…merchandise and music in several movements. Whether composing displays or composing ditties, coordinating the blues, or singing them, the artistic side of retail life has invariably struggled to make its musical ends meet. “Art for Art’s Sake Money for God’s sake” are a relevant, if somewhat dated testament to the dilemma of coordinating creativity & commercialism, and also a timeless reminder of the long and lively relationship between the retailer industry and the music of the times. A tradition that is getting stronger, more vibrant and more imaginative as every note goes by. …
Jon Varvatos lays its musical card on the multi-channel table.
Cool by association as the brand immerses itself in the world of music. Green Day collaborate on fashion campaigns whilst Paul Weller performs exclusively in the Bowery Store. What the retailer lacks in genuine personality is more than made up for as it rubs up close to some of the most fashionable and eligable shoulders in Manhatten and beyond.
Are you associating your brand with the right people?
Is a little bit of them, rubbing off on you?