WORDS Michaela Stehr IMAGES Supplied
The new adidas flagship store in Sandton (informally named “Home Ground”) brings an international and interactive shopping experience to South Africa.
Spanning a whopping 1 657m2, the new adidas store at Sandton City has been designed to create an immersive, digitally-driven consumer experience on the same level as the brand’s flagships in New York, London, Paris, Dubai, Beijing and Tokyo.
The concept behind the space was to create a visual feast for shoppers by combining art installations, interactive elements, and a hub of creativity and expression. Paddy Muldoon, senior director DTC at adidas South Africa, says that the Sandton flagship store brings the digital and physical consumer experiences together on a level no other retailer in Africa has yet reached.
“For the first time, South African consumers can experience radio frequency identification (RFID) mirrors in changing rooms, which automatically detect product information to provide them with real-time colour and style options,” he says. “They can also choose from a variety of digital backdrops in the changing rooms, which allows them to test their look in different scenarios.”
In keeping with the brand’s strong commitment to sustainability, a dedicated space explaining its efforts and the positive impact its eco-innovations have on the planet forms another part of the new store. The space introduces storytelling into the consumer experience.
What’s more, shoppers have the opportunity to use the in-store concierge service, drop off their adidas sneakers for a free cleaning, customise their kicks at the Maker Lab, and use the convenient online click-and-collect option.
Several South African artists collaborated to create the spaces that make up this enormous, must-visit store: Lazi Mathebula’s vibrant Collection Rug and a bespoke leather couch by Mia Senekal of murrmurr caught our eye at the launch. There’s also an ever-changing “Jozi Shop”, where local designers – including Ben Eagle, Khanyisa Klaas, Tiffany Schouw and Wesley Smuts – were briefed to create designs inspired by the city of Joburg. And in the children’s area, Cape Town-based illustrator and designer Yay Abe has added a playful 9m x 5m mural.