A DIGITAL AND IMMERSIVE CONCEPT DEDICATED TO SPORTS
DIGITAL RETAIL TOUR
Experiential and immersive concepts have become the retailer’s solution to reinvent itself and especially to reconnect with its customers. A retail tour dedicated to digital is an opportunity to observe points of sale that have been able to use digital tools to meet new needs, offer new services and recreate the link with the consumer. The Experience Center concept of this outdoor sports brand is a good example of this.
A HIGHLY SPECIALIZED JAPANESE BRAND
World leader in the bicycle equipment segment, the Japanese company Shimano concentrates the majority of its activity around 3 sports: cycling, fishing and rowing. Particularly popular in Japan, cycling grew in popularity in the 1950s, thanks in particular to track bike races called “Keirin”. With a presence in 18 countries and numerous subsidiaries around the world, the brand has chosen Europe as the location for its Shimano Experience Center.
A CAREFULLY SELECTED LOCATION
Inaugurated in July 2019 in the town of Fauquemont (Valkenburg) in the Netherlands, it is located in the province of Limburg near Maastricht. A very touristic region with its castles, rivers and walks, it attracts international as well as national visitors (the Belgian and German borders are less than 20 km away). In addition, the town of Fauquement hosts the annual Amstel Gold Race, a professional cycling race.
A SIMPLIFIED RETAIL DESIGN TO FOCUS ON THE MISSION OF THE POINT OF SALE
Shimano trusted the FutureBrands UXUS agency to create the concept that would perfectly embody the brand’s sporting community spirit for both amateurs and more experienced riders. The retail design echoes the brand’s logo by using Shimano’s iconic white, grey and blue colours. The choice of materials is also quite simple and minimalist with the use of concrete and plywood in order to highlight in the best possible way the different technologies of the store.
SHARING AT THE HEART OF THE CONCEPT
The hub is thus divided into 3 distinct but complementary areas: the community hub, which is conducive to exchanges between sportsmen and women and lovers of outdoor activities, the interactive showroom presenting the brand’s various products and the educational area dedicated to learning about the various sports. Among the concept’s flagship areas is the “Shimano Go” trade show where customers can meet to exchange experiences and learn more about the brand’s history.
AN EVENT OFFER TO LIVEN UP THE POINT OF SALE
You can also watch emblematic sporting events such as the Tour de France where everything that has appealed to rowing and fishing can be seen. An interactive screen is also present, allowing customers to plan their next fishing trip and record their favorite spots before synchronizing it with the Fish Shimano application. The centre goes further by offering to participate in local cycling races by testing their bikes or by organizing events (tours, clinics) with former Dutch pro cyclists or athletes.
THE STORE’S SIGNATURE ELEMENT: PRODUCT IMMERSION AND TESTING
But the space where the magic happens is the showroom. Thanks to virtual reality, the customer experience becomes totally immersive. The bike test area reproduces the terrain and mountain inclines, complemented by wind effects. Thanks to the various experimentation points present in the store, the customer can totally personalize his experience, thanks in particular to the “optimal cycling” station where trained personnel help to determine the ideal size and shape of the future bike’s sound. Does he prefer fishing? The dedicated area allows him to test the different fishing rods by catching a virtual fish. As for rowing enthusiasts, the simulator gives them the opportunity to launch you into a virtual race.
The sports retail sector is increasingly appropriating digital tools. A sector where consulting has a predominant place, these tools allow retailers to go further in customer relations. DECATHLON‘s phygital concept is a very good example of this. Digital technology has enabled it to integrate services that build customer loyalty while simplifying the task for staff. He is therefore much more available to exchange with the customer. A concept to be discovered in photos by clicking on the image :
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