When in London, shop like a pro! The physical – yet digital-friendly – retail options in the city are endless, but there are some stores in town that we have at heart because they are packed with fashion, tech and design. And they can provide a top-notch customer experience, also delivering great messages in an environment filled with entertainment options. The Adidas flagship store on Oxford Street in London is one of them.
Adidas re-imagined the retail experience with its new Oxford Street flagship store in London © Adidas
Located in the heart of London's shopping district, this four-storey, 27,000 square foot flagship store opposite Selfridges features over 100 digital touch points and even interactive changing room mirrors. DB3 Architecture assisted in the creation of this exciting retail experience, where Adidas products are showcased through a technology-driven journey. Called the 'Most Digital Store to Date', the space was crowned Gold Winner at the London Design Awards 2020.
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During our time at Istituto Marangoni, we had the opportunity to participate in an exclusive tour of the flagship store, guided by Evgenia Kisileva, a Senior Leader at Adidas Global Flagship.
Inside the new Adidas LDN store offering the brand’s most digitally advanced retail experience © Courtesy of the authors
The tour provided us with insights into the store’s innovative marketing strategies. We also got a glimpse of the working environment that helps the brand deliver fast and effective service.
The Adidas retail strategy: innovation and customer experience come first
The Adidas brand is all about innovation and enhancing the in-store customer experience. Constant innovation is a key part of the fashion industry and is important for fashion students. This tour showcased how leveraging innovation can improve the customer experience.
The Adidas Oxford Street flagship combines digital innovation, unique shopper experiences and a focus on in-store experts to create a new benchmark in retail © Adidas
The motto for dealing with post-pandemic retail: Push from digital to physical – but do it in a tech way
Over 100 digital touchpoints – all 100% powered by green energy - feature throughout the store © Courtesy of the authors
After the pandemic, Adidas started working on attracting customers to its stores and “pushing from digital to physical”, which included all the innovative technologies and activities implemented at the flagship store. Planning activities outside of the store and providing fun and memorable experiences for consumers is a crucial part of the Adidas marketing strategy.
Diversity and inclusivity to connect with customers’ values
The first floor hosts various mannequins with different body types and disabilities, including all groups of people. This makes the brand more relatable and allows it to connect with its customers on a deeper emotional level. The mannequins also inspire customers, offering a wide range of selected outfits and matching footwear.
Inside the Adidas Oxford Street flagship store in London © Courtesy of the authors
The hype on the dance floor (and on the sneaker wall)
As we moved to the next section of the floor, we were briefed on the strategy behind the renowned footwear wall. The upcoming products are placed on the wall with a “coming soon” sticker to create more awareness, visibility, and so-called “hype” around a new product. The inability to purchase it immediately makes the customers remember and return when the desired pair of sneakers is available, creating more returning customers.
The sneaker wall inside the Adidas flagship store on Oxford Street © Courtesy of the authors
Another area that caught our attention was the colour-changing floor room that displays promoting videos and is equipped with a DJ booth. The DJ plays every Saturday and Sunday, attracting more customers to the store and providing a unique interactive experience.
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New technologies to boost customer experience and sustainability
As a customer, you can enjoy a unique and innovative shopping experience, as the store is filled with smart technology from the entrance to the fitting room. The store uses screens to show its campaigns and projectors for the same goal. It also has screens to help shoppers find the items they are looking for; it features a smart fitting room using RFID technology and automatically scans the clothes and recognises them in the mirror.
Interactive changing room mirrors use RFID technology to recognise products and provide information, with shoppers able to request different sizes and colours without leaving the space © Adidas
Technology is also used in the store to enrich the customer experience; Adidas created a special room to analyse the consumer’s running style by an expert at Adidas. Consumers can book a free appointment, get detailed information about their running techniques and body type, and find the right pair of shoes for their feet. Adidas offers free gym classes, including yoga, pilates and more, for the consumer to book for free in the ‘Adidas Fitness and Lifestyle Studio’ on Brick Lane.
The Adidas Oxford Street store offers a range of bespoke services: consumers can arrange a product test in the Running Lab © Courtesy of the authors
The brand is also showcasing its commitment to sustainability in its store by partnering with Stella McCartney and creating a sports collection that uses the ‘Made to be Remade’ technology. Each garment has a unique barcode, allowing customers to return it to the store once it has reached the end of its lifecycle. Adidas will then transform the garment into something new, giving it a second life.
Smart behind-the-scenes tricks
Evgenia Kisileva showed us a unique method the Adidas store uses to manage busy days quickly and efficiently – a small elevator for clothes. This helps the staff assist customers without going from one floor to another to find the right item and size.
The store design has included embedding bespoke innovations into the Adidas app, including a ‘Bring It to Me’ feature which uses in-store geolocation tracking to provide an uninterrupted browsing experience © Adidas
Adidas has set a great example in incorporating innovative technology into the fashion world, inspiring us for the future.