Activewear meets urban aesthetics - "Urban Outdoor" is still on the rise. This topic has become an important source of revenue also for sports and outdoor retailers. The Munich-based Sporthaus Schuster is so convinced of the category that it has recently devoted a whole area to “urban outdoor culture". Here, Konstantin Rentrop, head of marketing multichannel at Sporthaus Schuster, draws a conclusion after the test run.
In mid-March, Sport Schuster started with its new pop-up space “Urban Outdoor Culture”. Why?
Ever since the foundation of the family company in Munich in 1913, we are specialized in mountain and outdoor sports. Mountaineering, winter sports and urban sports are our courts which we focused on in our retail stores as well as in the online shop. We address customers who actively do sports during the week, to be fit for the mountain on the weekend.
As we’re planning on reconstructing and modernizing our retail spaces we took the opportunity to think about which assortments we want to expand and realign. A topic which resulted from these considerations was the so-called urban outdoor culture. By that, we mean mountaineering-inspired functional clothing for everyday life in the city or nature.
Which products were that for example?
Basically, those are products from brands we have on the premises anyway, for example in the mountaineering section. But with our selected styles we put emphasis on the fashionability and functional details such as reflectors on the pants for a higher visibility when biking in the city.
Which buyers werw targeted by the space?
With the pop-up area we address customers who visit us for their sporty adventures anyways. Now they’ll also find something when it comes to fashionable, functional everyday wear. In addition, we reach many new young customers who rather stock up in the fashion sector.
How were the target groups reflected within the shop? How big is the area and how does the assortment as well as the shop fitting look like?
For the 100sqm pop-up space, we realized an own modern shop fitting. We divided it into two sections. For one thing, there’s a very clean section with brands like Arc’teryx or Peak Performance which rather address the urban, very fashionable customer. The other section, dedicated to the themes outside and nature, offers casual styles like check shirts and beanies by brands like Moloja or Patagonia. We also purchased products from smaller, rather unknown brands like Poler Stuff from Oregon or Pedal Ed from Japan. In addition, lots of accessories and literature from for example the Gestalten publishing house. We also integrated a VW bulli. That’s how the customer is lead intuitively. The eye decides on the shop floor rather than the mind. Assortment-wise, we offer brands like Peak Performance, Arc’teryx, Patagonia and Maloja, only to name a few.
Which products sold especially well?
Our assortment is 70% clothing, 5% shoes, and 25% accessories. Accessories, small bags, backpacks, hats and easily packable jackets sold especially well. There was a greater restraint for more expensive pieces because there is a big competition between comparable outdoor brands. When it comes to that, customers rather bought the more functional piece than the more fashionable one.
The testing phase has ended by now. What’s your conclusion? Did you reach the right customers?
We can say that the concept works. Through the differentiated assortment in the pop-up shop we could address new customers and win them over. We also got a good feedback from the industry. We see big potential in this theme because more and more brands bet on it. An overall strategic concept and a clear customer focus are more important.
Are you planning on making the pop-up experiment a permanent one?
We believe in the segment urban outdoor culture and will present it on a bigger scale in our new house, starting April 2018.