News 19.02.2021

Need to Know

Ikea democratises the gaming experience, a luxury grant for farmers moving to regenerative agriculture and city stores close amid the rise of local shopping.

Ikea’s price-conscious gaming furniture

Ikea China and Republic of Gamers
Ikea China and Republic of Gamers
Ikea China and Republic of Gamers

Global – Ikea’s first range of affordable PC gaming furniture makes it easier for gamers to have a professional set-up at home.

Designed in collaboration with hardware brand Republic of Gamers, the eSports collection spans six design themes and 30 products. Among the furnishings on offer are gaming chairs to suit multiple interior styles, and accessories such as cupholders, mouse guards and a ring light for live-streaming.

Launching initially in China before a global roll-out later in 2021, the range is purposely accessible with prices from £33 ($46, €38) to £275 ($386, €318), giving amateur gamers a chance to buy furniture that was previously too expensive. ‘We believe there’s a lot to be done to democratise the gaming experience,’ says Ewa Rychert, global business leader of workspace at Ikea. ‘Now we take the first step on our gaming journey, and we do it by presenting affordable, high-performing gaming products and complete solutions that we hope reflect people’s personality and taste.’

With this collection, Ikea is appealing to the Deprogrammers generation, creating accessible products for this diverse group of web-first consumers.

A fitness campaign celebrating phygital communities

You Never Sport Alone by Intersport, Switzerland You Never Sport Alone by Intersport, Switzerland
You Never Sport Alone by Intersport, Switzerland You Never Sport Alone by Intersport, Switzerland

Switzerland – Retailer Intersport's new campaign highlights how community and fitness are evolving as people adjust their routines during the pandemic.

Two films focused on running and training show the need for a positive community at a time when many people are exercising alone. The campaign – You Never Sport Alone – focuses on the shift to phygital and home workouts and the ways in which people are staying motivated and connected to others through exercise. Both films celebrate the sense of togetherness that fitness can bring, while conveying Intersport’s role in providing support, motivation, advice and products to local sports communities.

Danny Marsh, strategy director at We Are Pi, the creative agency behind the campaign, comments: ‘This campaign shows Intersport’s unwavering value to, and consistent support of, local sporting communities, [while] the phygital angle appeals to the idea that running and training have evolved from being solo sports – and are experiencing a transformation aided by crews, teams and gyms.’

Through this campaign, the retailer reflects how fitness brands are tuning into Social Wellness as a way to bring people together.

Kering’s fund to future-proof sustainable agriculture

The Regenerative Fund for Nature by Kering and Conservation International The Regenerative Fund for Nature by Kering and Conservation International

Global – Luxury conglomerate Kering has launched a monetary fund designed to transform conventional material sourcing in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.

For this venture, the luxury brand is working with non-profit organisation Conservation International to establish its Regenerative Fund for Nature. With this fiscal aid, grants will be provided to farmers, NGOs and key stakeholders who are creating eco-friendly agricultural processes in the fashion sector.

The first round of funding will support farmers making the transition to regenerative agricultural production so they can deploy more sustainable material sourcing. Kering will be tracking the process over the next five years, with the ambition to apply some of the findings to its own brands’ supply chains.

With the fashion sector consistently criticised for the harm it causes the planet, the Regenerative Fund for Nature aims to create long-term, positive solutions. In turn, Kering aims to implement eco-conscious practices into the core of its sourcing.

For more on businesses pushing past mainstream notions of sustainability, explore Post-purpose Brands.

Stat: City store closures loom as shoppers go local

Otrium, Netherlands Otrium, Netherlands

With many UK consumers continuing to work and shop locally, city centre retailers across the country are closing bricks-and-mortar outlets or relocating to neighbourhood areas.

Recent research by Brightpearl indicates that almost a quarter of UK retailers (24%) will be closing physical stores in 2021. Sports and leisure retailers are worst affected, with 50% planning to close their shops. Meanwhile, 30% of fashion brands plan to shut stores.

The closures come amid ongoing lockdowns in the UK and an enforced shift in spending habits towards local stores and convenience retail. According to Brightpearl, 63% of UK consumers say they will shop more locally over the next year, while almost one in five retailers (18%) are responding, with plans to move stores out of major city centres and into local high streets within the next 12 months.

In our Micro-mmunity Retail microtrend, we explore some of the ways in which flagship store formats are downscaling to suit the needs of local shoppers.

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