Design4Retail create Flagship Concept for The Sports Edit.

Design4Retail create Flagship Concept for The Sports Edit.

📅19 Giugno 2019, 17:33

Leading retail design consultancy Design4Retail was appointed by The Sports Edit to design and build a concept for their London’s flagship boutique at Coal Drops Yard.

The Sports Edit Established in 2015, The Sports Edit (TSE) is a multi-channel retailer that offers its discerning customers a carefully curated selection of the world’s finest sportswear and accessories.

The Sports Edit flagship retail design consultancy Design4Retail

Nick Paulson-Ellis, Founder and CEO of TSE, originally set out to offer edits of the finest sportswear from across the globe. However, since its beginnings, just three years ago, the brand has become more than the supplier of a premium sportswear, but also offers of a curated lifestyle. With their digital platforms supplying content directly from the TSE team, industry experts and ambassadors, on everything from yoga advice to clean eating and sustainable sportswear, their approach to retail is a holistic one, which focuses on athletic empowerment and wellness.
Originally launching with eighteen brands, TSE now stocks nearly fifty diverse collections appealing to their core audience which range from the experienced yogi through to the casual curators of athleisure, and the retailer is continually seeking out innovative and emerging brands to bring something new to its customers in the UK.

Coal Drops Yard

Located at the heart of Kings Cross, Coal Drops Yard (CDY) is a vibrant new shopping district that will offer visitors a whole new shopping experience. Whilst new as a shopping destination, the historic location is imbued with a rich heritage and history. Once acting as a large coal store for the capital, its stunning build and classic cobbled streets have been transformed and reinvented by Heatherwick Studios to create a stunning retail location for brands and consumers alike. Most remarkable, the grand brick viaducts and ironwork have survived the reinvention and their heritage will once again be brought to life as a key retail destination.
As a retailer dedicated to quality, performance and careful curation, it seemed more than fitting that Coal Drops Yard was chosen as the location for The Sports Edit’s flagship boutique. CDY has been equally careful in its selection of tenants, choosing only those who they believe will fulfill their desire to offer visitors a wonderful and unexpected mix of individual, independent shops, cafés and restaurants, together with signature brands from home and abroad.


Meeting with The Sports Edit’s Founder and CEO Nick Paulson-Ellis, provided the team at D4R with a great insight into the business and a clear understanding of the brand’s ambitions. With this in mind, D4R were equipped to undertake detailed research and create insights about the market and TSE’s customer base that would inform their design, enabling them to create a concept for TSE’s flagship store that would appeal to their diverse customer base and reflect the brand’s mission to create and inspire a community of people who are passionate about sport, style and wellness. The concept also needed to differentiate the brand in the sports retailing marketplace, whilst ensuring the concept would fit with CDY’s aspirations and the eclectic mix of boutiques at this exciting new destination.

The Sports Edit flagship retail design consultancy Design4Retail

The Concept

‘Industrial Luxe’ quickly became the golden thread inspiring the design of this flagship boutique, merging the brand’s aesthetic with the architecture of CDY.
The storefront is framed by the grand arches, characteristic of the site. Within this framework ‘The Sports Edit’ is clearly introduced on the fascia with the brand’s sleek logo, with their abbreviated TSE logo featuring in the store’s projecting signage. And whilst the window bay features a playful ‘podium’, allowing for the presentation of the brands latest women’s and menswear collections and accessories, the windows are otherwise unadorned, providing clear views into the store.
Inside, exposed brickwork and corrugated panels give the store its industrial feel, enhanced by mesh metalwork, which also provides a nod to the sports locker room.

This is complemented and contrasted by warm timber tones, soft neutral shades and the inclusion of foliage, all of which create a sense of wellbeing and give the store a luxe aesthetic, reflective of TSE’s product range.
Menswear is displayed in its own distinct space at the front of the store, whilst women’s collections are arranged by product assortment and by brand, with simple signage allowing clear and easy navigation to TSE yoga and Pilates, running, training and leisure wear. Embracing a broad audience, the store’s product selection has been designed to appeal to both practitioners and those who just enjoy wearing the best collections of athleisure brands available.

The brand’s online tone of voice and philosophy, helped D4R create an in-store customer journey that highlights TSE’s point of difference as both a supplier of athleisure wear and knowledgeable ‘voice’ for an empowered lifestyle, resulting in a concept that not only tells their story, and showcases their collections, but creates a sense of community within their boutique at CDY.

TSE’s team have created ‘The Edit’- a product collection curated specifically for Coal Drops Yard which reflects their customer’s personas. These personas have been skillfully reflected in D4R’s concept, which uses inspirational messaging, props and imagery, with a complementary colour palette, to help shoppers find their own persona. The concept features a pastel teal to promote calmness and wellbeing for the ‘yogi’; a relaxed, dusty pink for ‘casual curators’ and an amped up zesty chartreuse for the for the ‘cardio junkie’, while they selected a soft, nude tone that exudes elegance and sun-kissed skin for ‘luxe lovers’ and titanium grey to help TSE’s male shoppers navigate to their product collection.

Newness is presented via imaginative lifestyle VM, presented on distinctive bronze corrugated table tops, which reflect industrial-lux aesthetic of the concept. Like the in-store navigation, this VM provides edited product collections; with imagery, messaging and props creating visual cues for customers to shop the ranges displayed alongside.

Adding a further reference to the gym environment; folded product, footwear and accessories are presented on wooden plyometric boxes, usually branded with the manufacturers name, in TSE’s store they feature motivational messages which are etched onto the timber. Elsewhere neon signs are used to great effect to draw the eye to the back of the store, with empowering messaging telling customers to ‘be proud of what you can do’, neon is also used to signpost TSE’s men’s and women’s footwear collection with ‘Get your Kicks’, while ‘Try it on’ ‘Own it’ directs customers to the store’s fitting rooms and cash desk, with the brand’s relaxed editorial tone. The soft colours chosen for the walls add a warmth and a luxurious quality to the space, decorated with chevrons which evoke a sense of movement and provide a subtle sporting reference, tying the brand’s values together in the concept.

Fitting Rooms

The store includes two generous fitting rooms, with ample hanging and comfortable seating in the brand’s distinctive teal, allowing friends to share the entire shopping experience together. Customers can find the brand’s hashtag #mysportsedit on the mirror and also in reverse on the back of the door, providing them with the perfect backdrop for their fitting room selfie to share on social media.

The Sports Edit flagship retail design consultancy Design4Retail


Outside the store #mysportsedit appears once more, customers are also alerted to TSE’s enlivenment board which is updated daily with messages from the store team, detailing local classes and events, latest products and news from the brand, returning the experience to the concept of wellness, guidance, community and The Sports Edit lifestyle.
With nearly fifty brands on offer at CDY, customers are also able to explore TSE’s full online offer on iPads in-store, with the option of collecting their order from CDY, or having it delivered to their chosen address. Living and breathing the brand, TSE’s passionate and knowledgeable staff are on hand to help with any questions, extolling CDY’s values as a place where visitors will experience traditional shopkeeping values, exceptional service, and a warm welcome.

We were introduced to D4R through one of our brand partners, adidas, who spoke highly of them after many years working together. This counted for a lot of giving us the initial confidence, but from the first meeting with Chris it was clear that D4R understood and embraced our vision for developing The Sports Edit into the leading European activewear retailer. D4R has exceeded our expectations at every stage of the process. Chris and his partners have built a truly multi-disciplinary team with a rare blend of skills. The creative team took our initial brief and really evolved our brand for the physical retail environment, layering on textures and details through imaginative use of materials and imagery. Then what I really admire about D4R is the ability to take that creative vision and seamlessly deliver on it through the construction phase, with strong project management.” Nick Paulson-Ellis, Founder and CEO, TSE.

Working with The Sports Edit for their launch at Coal Drops Yard has been immensely exciting. Our flagship concept creates a clear identity and positioning for the brand, which sets it apart from traditional sportswear retailers and fits perfectly with the innovation and ethos behind London’s latest and most intriguing shopping destination.” Chris Baker, Joint Owner & Creative Director, Design4Retail.

Collaboration, Communication & Delivery

To deliver the finest sportswear boutique in Kings Cross, D4R worked closely with the TSE team, CDY’s team of project managers and Landlord Argent. As principle designers and contractors, D4R were responsible for every element of The Sports Edit project conceptual design through to production and installation. Ensuring CDY’s strict CDM guidelines were adhered to for this historic site and every element was delivered to the highest standard.

Photos: Michal Podrucki

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