The first adidas Originals flagship store with the new “Neighbourhood” concept just opened in Berlin. Of course you can read various press and social sites to get the corporate download, but we want to give you the behind the scenes insights. First of all, who we are: This is Frank Brucksch and Worth Darling, global project managers for Originals flagship stores. We have been successfully tag-teaming this project for six months now, but the project is actually more than one year old when you reflect back to the first vision workshops. As a duo we have earned several nicknames including ‘Brand and Retail’, ‘Art and Science’ and ‘Good Cop and Bad Cop’.
The first two reflect the collaborative effort we have made between our adidas brand (art) and retail sales channel (science) to launch a totally Originals brand experience inside of 4-walls. The third nickname is more suited to our personalities, but also reflects that we need a variety of tools and approaches to be able to manage a project of this scale. The “Neighbourhood” concept for adidas Originals flagship stores has been created to strengthen the bond with our target streetwear consumer and ultimately re-confirm Originals as the pioneering sportswear brand for the streets. By doing this, we expect the flagship stores to have a halo effect and elevate our Originals business globally. The flagship stores will do this by
- landing in the key, influential cities around the world,
- representing the best-of-the-best of Originals products including exciting collaborations and limited editions,
- activating the store with new tools and through a newly created in-store Activation Expert role,
- creating a staffing model beyond the obvious where staff are true brand ambassadors and where staff are empowered to be authentic; to be Original.
So why do we call it “Neighbourhood”?
The red thread through all of these elements is that they will be made relevant to the neighbourhood in which the store lives. The store environment created by our retail environments team took its inspiration from the neighbourhood, which is the beating heart of Originals and the source for the world’s originality.
So these flagship stores don’t just show off the global power of the Originals brand, they also earn their authenticity by staying locally relevant and by connecting with the city, with the neighbourhood and with the influencers, creative and streetwear audiences who live there.
Store launch experience
Finally the 27th of March came at last. It was an emotional roller coaster ride for us. We were excited to finally see the result of the team’s work, but at the same time we were also a little bit nervous as it felt a little bit like our baby and of course we wanted to receive positive feedback. The entire team worked very hard over the last weeks to build the store and merchandise the products in. It was very impressive to enter the store on the morning of the 27th and see the finished result! At 12.30 a group of senior management arrived to walk-through. This gave us a little rush of adrenalin. Everything went well; a couple of questions needed to be answered but obviously we could find satisfying answers. The last peak of the day was then the press event to which we had invited the cool crowd of Berlin. You never know how many people will show up and how they will perceive the store. We were very happy to see a lot of creative people and a constant flow of influencers and bloggers into the late hours …what a day! The rest was celebration until late in the night. The next day brought a personal highlight: it was so rewarding to see that people cued in front of the store before the opening to get access to it and to finally get hold of one of the long-awaited, exclusive ZX Flux Berlin versions…we sold about 100 pairs before lunchtime!!! A great reality check that makes us confident that we are on the right path.
It’s a team effort
What a journey and what a privilege to work on a project like this. It takes a lot of energy, commitment and passion to make it happen. We are thankful to have this opportunity and serve as project managers. The entire flagship team deserves as much credit as we do. So a big thank you to everyone who played a role in this concept and project and who was involved in bringing the Berlin flagship store to life. Next up – Shanghai