Being only a stones throw from The Trafford Centre means we love to visit new and exciting retail and shopper marketing concepts.
So, the recent refurbishment of JD Sports flagship ‘store of the future’ was the perfect opportunity for a visit.
The 9,000 sq ft store, from the self proclaimed ‘undisputed king of trainers’ marks a step change for the retailer. There is more technology in the Trafford Centre branch than any other JD store. The revamped space features a ground floor and upper mezzanine completely dedicated to trainers. From the moment you step into this impressive store it becomes obvious that it is a very different shopping experience compared to its former guise.
From iBeacons, ipads, digital kiosks and multiple touchscreens this store has really invested in its digital presence. Strategically placed throughout the store they provide great opportunities for shoppers to browse the full catalogue of stock available. iBeacons increase digital interaction, giving shoppers exclusive in-store content and the ability to shop from the app before paying in-store.
Trainer orders can be tracked on digital screens, this not only allows staff to focus on keeping the customer happy but adds a bit of retail theatre to what is usually a mundane wait sat waiting for someone to appear with your chosen size!
As JD’s target demographic is primarily a younger audience, the store provides the perfect arena to encourage social shopping. From messages throughout the store encouraging you to tweet with the hash tag #JDTrafford to the interactive live instagram screen feed by the changing rooms you get a genuine sense of a social, real time buzz in the store. This is a perfect fit for the social media savvy shopper, and helps to keep interest in typically dull dwell time areas, such as outside changing rooms where bored Mum and Dad will be sitting!
Zoning & Retail Theatre
One thing that was apparent when walking through the store was the attention to detail with interior décor and zoning that JD have applied. They have let their brands have a real presence in the store, wrapping it all together beautifully under the JD master brand. In some ways it felt more like a mini department store with concessions in than a sports shop. Trainers – which are clearly at the heart-land of the operation have a stylish floor dedicated to them, showcasing key pieces in glass boxes. And of course the neon lighting and rotating conveyor belt of trainers in the centre of the store provides the ultimate in retail theatre.
So, as a shopper who wouldn’t normally visit JD Sports I was utterly impressed. Although I might not necessarily shop there I was intrigued by the use of large screen technology, buzz and energy that this store lived and breathed. It felt more grown up and in tune with its target market, where design, technology and social are high up on the agenda. This is a shop you want to be seen in, encouraged to interact with, and of course purchase from.