Sport Schwab store by Konrad Knoblauch, Ellwangen – Germany

June 10th, 2016 by retail design blog

Sport Schwab in Ellwangen recently opened its newly renovated ski and textile section. Two years ago, Konrad Knoblauch GmbH successfully converted the football section at Schwab, and this time, the planners and shopfitters from Markdorf created a blend of cottage feeling and urban style on a 400-square metre area.

The sports retailer from Ellwangen has no more than 115 square metres available to present its entire ski range. This area not only accommodates skis, boards and boots, but also the workshop and the storeroom. In the summer, the latest trainers by the leading brands will be displayed here, which means that there is no room for the winter products. The solution was an intelligent wall rack: during the summer months, black sliding units hide the ski boots, and the light footwear will be presented on shelves that are attached to the sliding units. This way, the tiny space can be used twice! Gridded product racks made from expanded metal in the centre create further flexible merchandising options.

The well-known Schwab cottage feeling was to be retained. To improve the ambience, the small shingle roof was removed, the existing slabs on the walls stayed, but the colours were changed and wood was added on the ceiling and on the floor. A window at the back of the workshop area will make the room look more spacious. From there, you can see the domestic technology.

The football section, which was converted in 2014, features a grey floor, white lines and a green lawn, the same themes that are now also used for the textile section. The floor plan of the 285-square-metre area was completely redesigned, the centre was given a clear structure, the area is more clearly arranged and the routes are more convenient. Changing rooms and merchandising fixtures were arranged to form straight blocks and dotted around the room. The walls can thus all be used as shelf space. The casual rearrangement means that Schwab now has room for almost fifteen percent more products.

The checkout was moved from the window area to the edge so that now you have an unobstructed view from the entrance and the staircase into the room. The Nike shop-in-shop system was abandoned, and instead the brand area was integrated into the new store concept. Important design elements were retained to ensure brand recognition, but the overall feel of the space is the same as the rest of the interior design.

There is a foldable box in the stairwell, which Sport Schwab can use as required. Sometimes, discounted products are displayed there, and sometimes it hosts autograph sessions. With regard to theme and design, the box fits in with the new textile section.

Measurable results were achieved within only a few weeks of the shop opening. In the textile section, only about twenty percent of customers need help, and most of them do well on their own. This was very different before the conversion, when the majority of sales went through the sales assistants. Business is also doing better in the ski and hiking section, where products have been exchanged three to four times since the end of April. The conversion of the football section in 2014 has already brought about an increase in sales of more than 25 percent.

The shop, which is run by Thomas Olschewski and Stefano Franzosi, was founded in 1996 by Sport Schwab (Winterbach) in Ellwangen. In October 1997, Thomas Olschewski took over its management and gradually converted it into a specialist sports shop with a focus on football. Following the two conversion phases in 2014 and 2016, the shop now has a total area of 900 square metres.

Photography by Jens Pfisterer

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