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Adidas LDN – our store of the year

Why Inside Retail Asia retail analyst Tiffany Lung has pegged Adidas’ new London flagship her Store of the Year.  Retailers regularly spruiks the line of ‘reimagining retail’ when launching a new concept store – but the new Adidas LDN flagship genuinely delivers on that promise.  The four-storey Adidas LDN (London) store features a myriad of unique shopper activations and experiences which make it stand out from rivals like Nike’s Houses of Innovation in Shanghai and New

The four-storey Adidas LDN (London) store features a myriad of unique shopper activations and experiences which make it stand out from rivals like Nike’s Houses of Innovation in Shanghai and New York, and Puma’s own flagship alongside on Fifth Avenue. The Adidas LDN store may be a latecomer to the party, but it outperforms its rivals by truly embracing customer engagement.

Adidas has created a space to cultivate London’s creative scene, with the store housing installations and artworks from local artists and featuring products designed exclusively for the store. Keeping the theme localised, the German brand has a team of staff that collectively speaks 31 different languages to cater towards the 20 million tourists of London.

There are many interactive action points across each floor with the MakersLab being one of the focal points of the store. The customisation section not only allows consumers to personalise football jerseys, but opens up the creativity to people of all ages with its workshop area. Apart from artist-led group classes, customers can choose from the pick-and-mix of patches to add to their newly purchased garments on the spot. 

Shoppers can also immerse themselves in the in-store experience by testing their new kicks on a treadmill run, signing up for a fitting appointment with an expert, or attending regular community events. 

Magical experiences

The Adidas LDN store did not win this store race without help from a team of retail-tech experts. One of its foremost innovations are its smart fitting rooms with interactive mirrors, powered by RFID through Avery Dennison’s intelligent labels, Detego software, Pyramid Computer and Nordic ID.

When a customer walks in, the mirrors detect the item via its RFID tagging and display product information subtly but resourcefully on the mirror – providing an instant magical experience. The customer can call for assistance from staff, requesting sizes and colours without leaving the room. Personal services such as fitting appointment with experts and tailors are also available in-house – highly unusual for a sportswear brand. 

Additional fitting rooms with LED screens provide a vibrant and dynamic Instagrammable backdrop for the Gen Zs looking to show off their new Adidas gear. 

Personal concierge at a tap of a button

The digital innovation continues through Adidaas’ omnichannel app. Apart from being able to shop within and book sneaker-cleaning services, the app enables geo tracking for staff in-house to locate the consumer in-store for additional assistance. The “Bring It To Me” feature allows shoppers to scan products, request a size and purchase on the spot without queuing – removing the need for designated cashier spaces. 

Realistic augmented reality features are also available within the app’s product pages for their signature shoe collections such as the Alphaedge, Gazelle, Superstar or Stan Smiths. Provided by Vyking, the AR technology allows the user to try on shoes virtually atop the consumer’s feet and project the shoe realistically in 3D, complete with its detailed textures. 

Sneakerheads can also book reminders for upcoming sneaker drops through the app or by interacting with the digital “Hype Wall” to preview pending collections.

View Tiffany Lung’s video store tour below:

Sustainability focus

Adidas has always been a leader in sustainability efforts. Aside from its long-term partnership with Stella McCartney, an advocate and environmental enthusiast alongside its successful recycled ocean plastic Parley line, the brand has just launched the second generation of its first 100-per-cent recycled performance running shoe that once again, can also be recycled. Adidas has also pledged to eliminate virgin polyester in its products and to use only recycled plastic by 2024.

In-store, more than 100 of its digital touchpoints are fully powered by green energy. Prompted by the London mayor’s water-fountain initiative to cut down on plastic waste in the city, shoppers can refill their water bottles through fountains scattered around the store.

The new Adidas LDN store did not make my Store of the Year just for building a large-scale flagship. Unlike many flagships more often than not designed for marketing purposes, this store was truly designed with the consumer in mind. 

The entire store concept – from interactive workshops and events to the technologies embedded – fully elevate and improve the customer journey. It is a must-see store for any retailer passing through London.