Retail Choice: Adidas Performance store, Oxford Street

I had read a lot about the Adidas outlet on Oxford Street, so being an avid sports fan, I felt compelled to check it out. The concept of a 'Performance' sports store laid out in three separate zones was also appealing.

Adidas claims these zones owe more to the routine of a committed athlete than the route of a serial shopper, covering Preparation, Competition and Recuperation. In each zone, the ambience pays homage to great sporting triumphs, with an atmospheric backdrop of sound recordings made at sports stadia.

The interior inevitably pays homage to the brand, with a sleek black and white look and the iconic Adidas stripes deployed rather like runway lights at an airport, cleverly directing you from one area to another. The Performance store has combined the latest gear with leading-edge sports technology.

However, I couldn't help feeling the ambitious three-stage concept flatters to deceive. After all, an athlete needs more for recuperation than a comfy lounger and soft shoes. And Adidas' big push for pre-Christmas traffic, as reflected in the store's pre-launch hype, might rebound.

If you happened on this store as a passer-by, you would be impressed. But if, like me, you were pointed in its direction by hyperbole and a David Beckham-graced opening, your expectations may not be met. Especially if you're familiar with Niketown, just a few hundred yards away.

- Design: In-house.


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