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Wests Design have designed a new concept store for leading sportswear retailer ASICS. The store opened at the end of July in Rue d’Amsterdam, near Gare Saint Lazare, Paris.

The Design:
The concept takes direction from ASICS’s corporate ethos, starting with their founding philosophy: “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano”- meaning a sound mind, in a sound body. The corporate vision has also been incorporated into the design, namely to ‘Create quality lifestyle through intelligent sport technology.’ The Paris store is the first showcase of a new ‘The Home of ASICS’ concept, conceived by Wests Design from Manchester, UK.

The concept is designed to evolve according to the specific opportunities presented by the environment, as well as the needs of the customers. It has built-in flex through the blending of digital with physical space, and endeavours to create an experience which is both sensory and educational. ASICS know that their core customers don’t just want to shop online – they want to personally interact with the brand face-to-face. The store design process was informed by a deep understanding of customer requirements, product ranges, visual merchandising, service propositions, retail marketing, technology, and retail operations. The bigger picture objective was to create a store with clear product definition that is easy for a customer to navigate and to readily recognise the high quality of ASICS’ products.

As with any ‘Home’, the store creates a warm and friendly, accessible environment, where the customer feels comfortable and like part of the family. The aim is to extend the appeal of this performance sports brand to a much wider audience. The 320m2 selling space will offer running goods, alongside ranges for tennis, rugby and training.

Key Features: The previous ASICS concept was based around a technical feel, projecting a scientific / laboratory look. The new design aims to strip this back to create a much more ‘homely’ environment for the customer. The original architecture of the building has been exposed to provide a fitting background for the technical fixturing, and the overall environment has been warmed through the use of natural materials, such as bamboo and stone which follow ASICS’ Retail sustainability policy.

The front of the store showcases a new state of the art service: ‘ASICS Motion ID’, set behind a feature bamboo screen. This uses a series of high-tech motion sensors to capture customers’ natural posture and style of running movement to enable staff to recommend the best running shoe for them. This analysis ensure that customers are trying on the best fit of shoe, based on the optimal level of medial support, flexibility and cushioning for them.

New fixtures include tables displaying ranges of running tights, tops and short, which are designed to bring height to the floorspace and to promote these extensive product offerings to their full potential. They also enable the narration of compelling and differentiated product stories from floor to wall for the customer. To the rear of the store is a new ‘dynamic’ caged display feature wall to show off the latest product stories. Other features include a display area “The Anatomy of a Running Shoe”, showing the raw materials, processes and components used to make a modern ASICS shoe and a 3 Dimensional graphic map of Paris to the front of newly styled ‘softer’ changing rooms.

The upper floor features the ASICS FOOT ID concept, which can be used to precisely measure customers’ feet using 3D foot scanning gait analysis during treadmill running. Store staff will be able to use this data to suggest footwear appropriate to best suit the individual’s feet and running style. In line with ASICS CSR policy, design decisions in the store have been made with sustainability in mind and the store will now be a benchmark for future stores to achieve better ratings against a set of clear criteria.

Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS Europe B.V., said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of our first performance store in Paris, featuring our latest innovations. France is a key strategic market for ASICS as we look to cement our position as the number one brand in performance running and tennis, and build on our core-performance sports offering in the French market. As a leading sports performance brand, it’s important to offer the latest in retail experiences and offer our consumers premium services to help them select the best products for their individual needs.”

Design: Wests Design / Jason West / Matt McKinney / Lee James / Aaron Losada / Katie Foster / Andy Winter / Neil Howarth / Helen West
Photography: Wests // ASICS

About Wests Design
Wests Design is an independent creative studio, working with a broad range of clients and specialising in commercial interiors and graphic design. Wests are the retained global retail design agency supporting ASICS and have worked with the brand developing retail schemes for the past 10 years. Their previous retail concept for ASICS won several industry awards when it launched in Amsterdam in 2011.

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