Sport Förg by Konrad Knoblauch GmbH, Friedberg – Germany

November 7th, 2017 by retail design blog

Markdorf/Friedberg, October 2017 – Have you ever paid close attention to a dancer? Or a mountaineer? Or the outline of the Alps? Movements and silhouettes can always be reduced to geometric, polygonal shapes. Such seeming simplicity conceals tremendous dynamism and its fragmentation gives it maximum flexibility. This principle of visual movement underlies the new store design of Sport Förg in Friedberg. The 5,000-square metre sports shop on the Segmüller site opened at the end of September. Konrad Knoblauch GmbH developed the design and retail concept and acted as general contractor.

You can see the shiny glass extension of the huge industrial hall from a distance, which rises up from between the large brick buildings like a crystal. It sports the giant Sport Förg logo and a two-storey black slatted box extends into it. The building accommodates a 50-square metre gym which can be tailored to exercise sessions with your own music and RGB lighting control and at the same time accentuates the glass structure. The top of the box features the pop-up area, which temporarily exhibits individual brands and themes. Different colours and furniture deliberately contrast with the shop design.

From the outset, the operators did not want Sport Förg in Friedberg to look like an ordinary sports shop. But the sporting spirit can be felt wherever you look: “Hast du Willen? Wir haben das Zeug dazu” (Do you have the will? We’ve got what it takes) – that’s what it says in giant letters on the wall well visible from the outside. When you do sports you move. When you sell sports, you also move. That’s why the furnishings of Förg are flexible. The simple underlying design forms a uniform basis for all areas. Figures mounted onto the wall that look like giant 3D puzzles made from polygonal maritime pine elements define the individual departments.

The movements cannot, however, be clearly assigned to a single type of sport, which means the products can be positioned anywhere in the shop depending on the season. The signs saying “cycling” or “kids” in large letters are attached to separate shelves and can simply be moved along with the goods. This makes the shop extremely flexible. The geometric shapes of movement appear everywhere: in the figures, the ceiling lamps in the staircases, as markings on the floor, in the counter and as shelving elements. The conical wooden stairs – by no means a structure that merely connects the two floors – realises the play with movement in its own way: in the middle, a slide, also made from wood, takes you down to the children’s department. At its widest, the stairs are eleven metres wide and invites you to linger.

It is also used as an event space and offers great flexibility when it comes to highlights and decorations. The typical characteristics of the industrial hall were deliberately integrated into the overall design. All ducts and pipes are visible along the light grey ceiling whose colour scheme they mirror. The rough screed floor further underlines the hall’s casual charm. The walls made from black MDF, the black slatted boxes and the anthracite shop fitting system bring it all full circle and beautifully highlight the colourful goods. The large puzzle pieces and the huge staircase – both made from maritime pine – lend a homely feel.

The blackened brick wall, which can still be seen through the red bricks, also creates a cosy atmosphere and subtly echoes the building’s exterior. You will truly feel at home in the lounge of Sport Förg . Red and blue poufs, colour-coordinated with the Förg logo, as well as various retro fabrics and matching lighting emphasise how Förg sees itself: we are sporty and traditional, we like things fashionable and comfortable – but never tacky. The sports shop in Friedberg has a total area of some 5,000 square metres, 3,400 of which are retail space on two levels. The remaining area is divided into storage, offices, staff rooms and toilets.

Other shop highlights include the interactive ski simulator SkyTechSport, the integrated gym, modern foot measurement systems and the realistic test station for hiking boots. Here, customers can find fashion and equipment for winter sports and mountaineering, cycling and water sports, tennis, table tennis and badminton as well as various other sports gear and outdoor wear, leisurewear and lifestyle clothing. Sport Förg is the biggest owner-managed specialist sports shop in the Augsburg region. The shop with three branches and now more than 100 staff has experience and professional competence in various sports. Their product range is supplemented with a variety of services, such as hire, ski and tailor services, tips on product care, many courses etc.

Design: Konrad Knoblauch GmbH
Photography: Jens Pfisterer

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