Sports retail is one of the rather young trends on the Ukrainian market. It opens the door to innovation and gives owners a unique opportunity to adapt and implement the most successful foreign experience. The target audience has not yet seen very much, and that is why sports retailers can create a really bright and unforgettable experience for their customers.
This area is growing quite slowly: a few years ago, experts predicted a growth of 10–20% annually, but even this statistic failed due to the crisis, the pandemic and other events that affected the Ukrainian market. At the same time, the demand for sporting goods is not decreasing, and the restraining factors are the price and the evolution of the ecommerce segment. In our recent article, we explained how to survive the pandemic and the ongoing growth of the online market.
But we'll cover the main point once again: to attract traffic to an offline store, you need to create spaces that give impressions and emotions, not just salesrooms.
This sooner or later leads the retailer to the need to choose the most appropriate equipment for the presentation of sporting goods.
Most of the sports brand stores are created according to foreign brandbooks: this is true for both official representatives and franchisees. Ukrainian sports retailers are actively adapting and implementing the experience of major players in the global market.
And fresh examples of sports store design give us something to think about.
The photo above is one of the multiple Adidas stores in the Stadium concept, and below is a sports field right inside the retail space. If you compare them, you can see the resemblance literally at a glance.
The idea behind Stadium by Adidas is to combine utility and functionality with open space in the interior. In this regard, metal elements are actively used in the design: nets, grids, sheets, pipes and, of course, expanded steel sheet.
Here is an example of a Ukrainian Adidas store, which was implemented according to a similar brandbook. By the way, it was the first official Adidas shoe store in Ukraine. Its interior actively uses metal grids, and some areas for presentation and storage combine particleboard with expanded steel sheets.
The Ustor team has used expanded sheet for sporting goods stores many times, and for a reason. Below we will tell you why this material is so popular among retailers.
Expanded metal sheet is a strip of metal with holes of the same size and a textured edge. To achieve this structure, the rolled metal (sheet or roll) is passed through special machines. There metal is cut through and pulled in a special way. As a result, the expanded metal sheet resembles a grid, but in terms of its characteristics it remains the same as the sheet metal. Which is important from the aesthetic side is that there are no welded joints on it, and products made with expanded metal sheet look very tidy.
Slit sheet is made of stainless, carbon and low-alloy steels, as well as aluminum alloys. It ranges from 3 to 6 mm in thickness. Geometric features of the sheet vary, that is, the shape of the cells is different: square, round, diamond-shaped.
In contrast to classic sheet metal, expanded metal sheet is less metal-intensive. It turns out that with the same size and rigidity, the material is significantly lighter. On average, the weight is reduced by 45–60%. Thanks to the cells, the expanded steel sheet is translucent and air-permeable. This is practical in terms of operation, and also increases the visual field of view, which is convenient in the design of retail spaces.
It is equally important for store equipment to maintain the rigidity criteria without unnecessary weighting of the structure. Expanded metal sheet is the perfect material in terms of the balance of these two indicators. In this case, expanded metal sheet is welded, bent and cut without any difficulty. It can be rounded, that is, you are not limited in your choice of rack shape.
But any material has obvious disadvantages. So the carbon steel sheet is not so resistant to corrosion, and it is better to give preference to an analogue of "stainless steel". However, even this problem can be easily solved by applying a special coating (paint or galvanic).
The Ustor team has been producing equipment for such retail chains as Sportmaster, Columbia, Weekender, Sportlandia, InterSport, and others for more than 5 years. More and more often customers' brand books include the expanded metal sheet in the design of racks and other areas for the products' presentation. Exactly based on the example of the InterSport project, we would like to show how the expanded metal sheet may look like in the interior.
For example, in this case, the sheet metal is used for the shelves and side surfaces, while the accessories and decorations are made of sheet metal. Thanks to the grid structure, the dark construction does not look massive.
We mentioned a few examples of Adidas store designs in the Stadium concept above. As you can see, there is some continuity in the presentation. This is definitely a global trend, which allows to maintain a balance between practicality and aesthetics in the interior. This style reinforces the atmosphere of sports and an active lifestyle.
The neutral background makes the merchandise items more contrasting and bright. In the case of Adidas, the background is graphite, while in the InterSport store it is black and dark gray. In this example, we can see that the shoes seem to "stand out" against the background and the overall composition. In turn, the abundance of different colors does not confront the design of the space and commercial equipment.
Shelves and storage areas can be equipped with wheels, baskets and other elements. The construction is mobile, practical and allows you to customize your space and experiment with zoning if necessary.
The extended metal sheet looks harmonious with sports equipment, and is often used in the design of fitness clubs, crossfit areas and so on.
Due to the grid structure of the expanded metal sheet, even high constructions do not take up much space, and can be successfully used to separate the thematic areas.
Often deep storage containers look massive, and if the construction is blank, the goods are not presented effectively enough. The material looks like a mesh, and thanks to this, even the most voluminous structures retain their permeability. The client sees the goods from a distance, which has a positive impact on conversion and the average check in the store.
Expanded metal sheets can be harmoniously combined with metal frame, elements of chipboard, plastic and accessories. It is also painted and completed with decor of different complexity.
Certainly, selection of materials for your retail space depends on the DNA of your brand, corporate identity and the niche you work in.
This material is only one of the many possibilities in the design of the retail environment, which is not yet very actively represented in the Ukrainian market of sports retail.
Ustor team will gladly fulfill any project based on your brand book and create a truly bright and comfortable space for your clients. The space where one wants to spend time, get new emotions and make purchases.
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