3 trends retailers can learn to help revive high street

Nicholas Carroll
Nicholas Carroll, Category Director – Retail Insights, has a specific flare for the grocery trade however analyses and writes in-depth stories on a spread of UK and European retail markets.

Why open a bodily retailer?

Founded in 2012 as an online-only direct to shopper (DTC) model Gymshark has loved vital success over the previous ten years and has grown to gross sales of over £450m. 

Given the success the model has had to date, many would query why Gymshark wants bodily shops. While amongst Gymshark’s core viewers of beneath 35s model recognition is powerful – with over half of this group conscious of the model – this drops to simply one in ten for those aged 45+

A bodily retailer then offers the model a direct manner to develop consciousness, and as begins go a flagship store on one of many UK’s most recognisable streets isn’t a foul one. However, it must also enable the model to supply a brand new facet of the enterprise and new experiences to that core viewers. 

Prior to opening Gymshark has talked about this retailer as being its ‘home’ and a spot to spherical out what the model stands for. After visiting we can say that the shop actually delivers on this. So what can retailer based mostly retailers learn from the brand new Gymshark flagship retailer?

1. Tap into experiential retail trends

The retailer brings to life the practical however enjoyable method to health that Gymshark has developed over the previous 10 years, and encompasses a host of experiential components, from one-to-one private coaching stations to in-store courses, which can resonate with its core viewers of beneath 35’s want for extra experience-led retail. There are additionally areas for purchasers to dwell with associate Joe and the Juice offering in-store refreshment and areas for buyers to sit and loosen up, and acquire perception on coaching regimes and merchandise from workers. 

These experiential components and social areas are essential to fashionable buyers, and they’re the clear distinction between the net and bodily channels. Physical procuring remains to be a social exercise for many individuals: 60% say visiting a procuring vacation spot is an effective manner to socialise with pals/household, rising to 71% of beneath 35s. Equally one in ten people say they train to meet new individuals, and subsequently Gymsharks retailer hits each factors by creating an thrilling new atmosphere for buyers to go to and a spot for it to foster a group of health fanatics. 

Gymshark app customers can ebook free private coaching periods at its Regent Street retailer. Image supply: Mintel.

2. Make the a lot of the practical components of a bodily retailer

Although the experiential components will likely be headline grabbing, probably the most spectacular side of the shop is that it’s a sturdy practical step into bodily area. As a flagship there are of course unique ranges, however the retailer as a complete does job at bringing to life ranges – with devoted areas for various features of Gymshark’s providing, all with explainers about how these merchandise can elevate health targets.

Lots of Gymshark staff are available to present recommendation and take cost utilizing portal units. Image supply: Mintel.

3. Provide high quality one-to-one service

Service is essential inside the bodily atmosphere: two thirds of buyers assume good workers information encourages you to go into shops most frequently. However, it is usually an space which has seen an absence of funding and focus from many retailers, and half of buyers assume the usual of customer support in-store shouldn’t be what it used to be. 

For any model to achieve success within the bodily area service have to be on the coronary heart of their providing, and whereas Gymshark might have beforehand been a web-based solely retailer, it has clearly understood the necessity for high quality one-to-one service. A bunch of workers are enthusiastically available to help, and though there are conventional tills, every workers member is supplied with cellular cost units which inspires interplay.

New blood essential to the way forward for the high street

So Gymshark’s first foray into bodily retailing is way over an arrogance undertaking. It doesn’t essentially break the mould, and there are clear alternatives for the model to evolve the area to soak up extra features of the model’s persona, comparable to its earlier 2022 experiment with bodily retailing, the Deload barbershop. We hope that Regent Street shouldn’t be a full cease within the model’s bodily journey, however the begin of a journey which reaches out throughout the UK’s procuring areas.


Gymshark has created a format which, with or with out the experiential components, could possibly be transplanted to different bodily areas. Image supply: Gymshark.

Encouraging extra online-first manufacturers into the bodily area is essential for the way forward for the high street. Most buyers say that higher high quality shops domestically would make in-store procuring extra interesting, and whereas there are points for flagship locations like Regent Street and neighbouring Oxford Street their present woes pale as compared to what’s dealing with many procuring locations throughout the UK. The high street might have regained the bulk share of retail spending in 2022, however in contrast to pre-pandemic in September 2022 alone gross sales on the high street had been nonetheless £3.5 billion decrease than that they had been in September 2019. 

The significance of thriving high streets to British society

The earnings squeeze is affecting each shoppers and companies alike, and asking companies to take of venture on bodily area at the moment is tough. However, that’s the reason all stakeholders, from retail to landlords to native authorities, with a vested curiosity in a prospering high street want to be lessening boundaries to getting into the bodily area and to take a long run view of the significance that bodily procuring areas have, not simply to the retail sector, however to wider British society.