Swiss Performance Brand, On, launches its first-ever UK flagship on Regent Street _
Where technology meets nature
An intuitive customer journey
Hot on the heels of their New York store opening, running specialists, On, have launched their first European flagship on London’s iconic Regent street. The Swiss born brand opened its doors to customers on 10th Feb and have since had queues lining the streets to get a glimpse of the high tech store. Seamlessly marrying technology and nature, the three-storey space goes beyond a traditional bricks-and-mortar store and presents as a space for innovation, education, and community.
To entice and welcome shoppers into the store is a dynamic rotating robot which showcases a 360 view of the shoes in motion by the robot imitating running patterns. Alongside each model, QR codes are displayed to allow further exploration of the products and their features. Also on the first floor, known as the innovation zone, is the story of On’s zero waste shoe – a product that is never owned but rather, subscribed to. The trainer in question, which only comes in the colour white for better recyclability, weighs just 260g and is made from castor beans. Once subscribed to the shoe, much like subscribing to Spotify or Netflix, customers receive a ‘new’ shoe every six months. Once used and loved, the shoe is simply sent back to On who then breaks down the trainer in order to make a fresh pair. This entire process is showcased on the innovation floor to help shoppers get a feel for the brand, and their ethics, before moving upstairs to browse and shop.
The level of consideration isn’t just in the products but the store itself. Throughout the store, the walls are covered with natural plaster clay which acts as natural insulation. Its heat retaining properties allow electricity usage to be kept low and works in the summer to keep the store cool. The textured nature of the surface was achieved by hand pressing the wet clay one by one with a spoon! The floor’s paving and clay walls have been chosen to mimic what On believes running in London should feel and look like. To tie in with the tech feel of the store, and spanning across the entire far wall, is a floor to ceiling digital screen displaying dynamic artwork designed by a local artist. The brand hopes to incorporate VR-driven technology in the future to create customer avatars that will be shown on the screen. The digital wall flows from the innovation floor to upstairs, on the shopping floor, helping to aid the seamless customer journey.
On the upper level, or shoppable area, customers can experience the latest technology through the introduction of a large, high spec wall, known as the ‘magic wall’. The wall carries every model and size of On shoes, with the brand’s hidden gait-cycle analysis technology instantly matching shoppers with their perfect shoe. Dotted around this retail-focussed level of the store are a number of stools made from recycled materials, reinforcing the importance of sustainability for the brand, and encouraging dwell time among shoppers.
Moving down to the basement is the community zone. This space will serve as a platform for yoga sessions, a sports rehab centre, talks and home to On’s new run club. Every Wednesday, members will meet at the store and On will supply trainers for the members to test out during the sessions. The money raised from the sessions will be donated to the charity, Outrunners, who strive to empower young people in London through running.
The flagship is an immersive, tech-driven approach to in-person shopping, offering in-store exclusives, and an opportunity for customers to get to know the brand. Building on this notion, in every store is a replica of the boulder that the founders were sat by when they had the idea for the brand’s concept in the French Alps, again designed by local artists – acting as a physical representation of how far the brand has come. Definitely one to visit… a refreshing and inspiring store concept with future plans to allow seasonal swapping for apparel pieces!