Retail workout: An exercise experience in-store

Retail workout: An exercise experience in-store

Shanghai – For Western sportswear brands, one of the difficulties of operating in China is the relative indifference of Chinese consumers to the culture of personal training. Jogging, for example, is seen by locals as a punishment rather than a reward.

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Shanghai – For Western sportswear brands, one of the difficulties of operating in China is the relative indifference of Chinese consumers to the culture of personal training. Jogging, for example, is seen by locals as a punishment rather than a reward.

The Under Armour Experience store aims to change that perception. Located in the new Jing An Kerry Centre mall in Shanghai, the small boutique is almost completely occupied by a 270-degree screen displaying the sights and sounds of athletic training. The whole visual experience is introduced by global sport icon Michael Phelps, winner of eight gold medals in swimming at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Experience store is connected to another store, where customers can buy a slimmed-down version of the Under Armour collection. The idea is to introduce consumers to the brand first, and only then to offer them products. ‘Wherever we go around the globe, we will lead first with our story and bring the people into the best Under Armour experience possible before we ask them to try our performance apparel and footwear,’ says Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.

China’s expanding middle class is ready to buy into the kind of affordable luxury that Under Armour represents. For more on China’s New Emerging Affluents, read our Tribe report.

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