Another day, another retail innovation: adidas SA’s new Sandton flagship store to open this month

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(Photo by Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images)
  • In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic saw multiple retail store closures, while also forcing innovation for those remaining.
  • This week, adidas announced that it is launching its SA Flagship store on 25 June 2021, at Sandton City.
  • Shoppers can expect to find a best-in-class showcasing of adidas Running, Training, Football, Outdoor, Kids and Originals products, with an exclusive offering of Y-3 footwear and apparel, as well as collections by Stella McCartney and Karlie Kloss. 

This week, adidas announced that it is launching its SA flagship store on 25 June 2021, at Sandton City.

adidas South Africa’s Sandton flagship store promises 1000 square metres of the most immersive consumer experience on the African continent – and an exclusive retail experience comparable to the brand’s other flagship stores in New York, London, Paris, Dubai, Beijing and Tokyo.  

Shoppers can expect to find a best-in-class showcasing of adidas Running, Training, Football, Outdoor, Kids and Originals products, with an exclusive offering of Y-3 footwear and apparel, as well as collections by fashion heavyweights Stella McCartney and Karlie Kloss.

READ MORE: The history of sneakers: from commodity to cultural icon 

Commenting on the store’s digital capabilities, 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 that no other retailer in Africa has reached; “For the first time, South African consumers can experience Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) mirrors in changing rooms, which automatically detects product information in order to provide consumers with real-time colour and style options. 

adidas flagship

adidas flagship
Images supplied by adidas South Africa 

"Visitors to our store can also choose from a variety of digital backdrops in the changing rooms, in order to test their look in different scenarios.” 

Another game-changer is the store’s sustainability space, which is the largest retail area committed to sustainability that adidas has created across its global footprint.

The space introduces storytelling into the consumer experience, showcasing how the brand’s commitment is brought to life through collaborations such as adidas x Parley, and eco-innovations such as Primeblue, products made comprising of at least 50 percent Parley Ocean Plastic. 

adidas flagship

adidas flagship
Images supplied by adidas South Africa 

The space was designed to be hyper-local, with Jozi culture and credibility woven in at every touchpoint.

A range of exclusive, limited-edition prints will be available only at the Sandton flagship store, with décor and furnishings brought to life by creators such as Russell Abrahams, Lazi Mathebula and Mia Senekal. 

Shoppers can make use of South Africa’s only in-store concierge service, drop off their adidas sneakers for a free cleaning, personalise adidas footwear and apparel at the Maker’s Lab, or sign-up for the adidas ‘click and collect’ offering when purchasing online. 

READ MORE: These 5 white sneaker cleaning myths are actually ruining your precious shoes

Here, we detail 7 more retail innovations and re-entries we've seen over the 2020/2021 period:  

In 2020, Zara-owner Inditex announced that it aims to focus on its online business and large stores in prime shopping areas while closing around 1000 of its smaller stores. It expects virtual sales to account for more than a quarter (25 percent) of business by 2022, compared to their current 14 percent. Larger stores will therefore act as distribution hubs for online sales.  

This is why Zara is currently refurbishing and enlarging its flagship store at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in order to make it the brand's newest concept store in South Africa, offering a fully integrated experience with   

In line with Zara's commitment to South Africa, the brand is investing in this high quality, digitalised and differentiated store set to open later this year - by expanding the store to approximately 2700 square meters - to feature the latest sustainability and technological developments of its integrated store and online sales platform. The in-store Customer Experience areas will offer new convenience spaces such including a showroom and a fitting room waiting area.

Add to that, a fully fitted Beauty section similar to the likes of its retail counterparts; Woolworths, Edgars, Foschini, and Truworths. This new Beauty section will offer shoppers a unique immersive experience complete with personalised beauty advice.

READ MORE: We don't have Ulta Beauty, but thanks to Woolworths we can now access virtual makeup try on services

Hi there, StyleMode

The need to reconsider outdated business models made itself apparent in retail long before Covid-19, which is probably why StyleMode considered 2020 a time ripe as any to open up (virtual) shop in SA last October.  

Powered by - SA's new fashion e-tailer, StyleMode – instead of dipping a toe in, is taking a dive into waters that are already warm, given the stats of our bubbling online retail industry.

They entered the market with a range of brands across apparel, footwear, accessories and a plus-size range – all at a price point that will suit most pockets in our country's economy.

READ MORE: SA welcomes a new online fashion portal as brick-and-mortar retail ebbs and eCommerce flows     

An EGG-citing innovation 

Born with a vision to “reimagine retail,” a 2 700-square-metre space - EGG - opened at Cavendish Square in Claremont, Cape Town, housing 250 local and international brands across the categories of fashion, beauty, living, streetwear and sneakers, accessories and jewellery, and even food.   

The store promises shoppers a unique, “phygital” omni-channel experience.  

As reported by BizCommunity, the next three years will see three more EGG stores launch in South Africa - one at The Zone @ Rosebank and Bedford Centre in Johannesburg, and another at Gateway Mall in Durban. 

A first for South Africa

Chanel unveiled its new fragrance and beauty boutique at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in December 2020. 

Dedicated to fragrance, makeup and skincare, this boutique brings Chanel Beauty into a new dimension for South Africa, reinforcing the ties between the House and its clients.

The 61sqm space will feature the first standalone pop-up concept for South Africa, and was projected to expand to 106sqm in 2021. This year, Sandton City has since welcomed the second Chanel Beautique in the country.

READ MORE: Chanel unveils its first-ever perfume and beauty boutique in SA at the V&A Waterfront

GAP returns to South Africa

Launching in the country’s largest shopping center, Gap opened its doors on 26 November 2020 at the Mall of Africa with the brand’s Summer and Fall collections for men, women, kids, toddlers, and infants. 

“Since we exited the market in 2017, it has been a priority to evaluate future partnerships for Gap in South Africa and to restore confidence in our loyal Gap customer base. By partnering with Hyvec Group, we are opening an exciting chapter in our growth strategy and are incredibly energised about what the future holds,” said Roy Hunt, SVP of Inc. Franchise & Strategic Alliances.    

After the store opening in Mall of Africa, the Hyvec Group plans to carry out a sustained national growth plan with additional store openings in South Africa, as well as the Bagatelle Mall in Mauritius.  

Welcome back, MANGO 

While South Africa has been lamenting a potential retail apocalypse since the likes of Stuttafords, River Island, Nine West, Topshop, and the Platinum Group stores all shut their doors for good and left our malls, it would appear Spanish retailer, MANGO, had been doing some work to cement a return to SA.  

Fast forward some three years later, and MANGO is a standalone store on our shores once again. 

While it's unclear as to why exactly the fashion retailer returned to Mzansi, with their revival, the brand is consolidating its presence in Africa, where MANGO is present with 52 retail outlets, four of which are megastores. 

Welcome, Desigual

Founded in Barcelona, Spain in 1984, Desigual - in a rather optimistic move - opened its doors in Sandton City for the very first time in SA, in September 2020.

Desigual’s first store in South Africa carries collections from the Woman, Accessories and Shoes categories. As has been the norm since the launch of the new brand image in 2019, Desigual is using this store to showcase its new corporate identity and shopping experience. 

As the Spanish fashion brand's Channels Director Jordi Balsells explains; “The South African market has an intriguing potential for growth. The qualities of our collections, such as the vibrant colours, the diversity of the materials and the uniqueness of the designs, match a style that will resonate with local consumers and which, combined with the Desigual DNA, has the potential to build a very strong connection with customers. 

Desigual hopes to open a second store on our shores in the near future at the V&A Waterfront where the Zara flagship store and Chanel Beauty's first-ever SA boutique are also located.

Additional information and images provided by adidas South Africa

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