New Retail Format for Sun & Sand Sports

Landini Associates reinvents stores for top Middle East sports retailer Sun & Sand Sports

Global design studio Landini Associates has been engaged by Sun & Sand Sports — the Middle East’s largest multi-brand sports retailer and wholesaler — to reinvent their retail format. 

Opened first is a 10,000-square-foot prototype store located in Dubai Mall featuring Landini Associates’ signature design, with a vibrant yellow footwear centerpiece formed by a semitransparent stockroom wall. Multiple newly designed locations for Sun & Sand Sports will follow across the Middle East this year. 

Landini Associates reinvents stores for top Middle East sports retailer Sun & Sand Sports

A retail format in line with the company’s new brand positioning

The sports retailer challenged Landini Associates to reinvent the Sun & Sand Sports retail format to transition their personality from a longstanding focus on performance to a new emphasis on fun, in line with the company’s new brand positioning.

In response, the multidisciplinary team at Landini Associates dispensed with the retailer’s previously dark spaces to create a light, bright and exciting shopping experience that better reflects the brand personality — while remaining sympathetic to its heritage and surrounding landscapes of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Landini Associates reinvents stores for top Middle East sports retailer Sun & Sand Sports

The new palette is warm, friendly and textured, with neutral display fixtures that allow the product to present as hero. Travertine floor tiles express sandy textures, complemented by a recycled timber shell and monolithic wall paneling.

At the heart of the store, it’s the bold injection of Sun & Sand Sports’ signature yellow that entices customers from afar and signals the brand’s core offering: an extensive department full of running shoes, sneakers, and other specialized athletic footwear.

The semitransparent stockroom serves double duty, celebrating the main event with “functional visibility,” says Wayne Cheng, design director for interiors with Landini Associates. New in-store graphic direction, also by Landini Associates, draws inspiration from the sense of dynamic movement seen in the Sun & Sand Sports logo and overall brand identity.

Landini Associates reinvents stores for top Middle East sports retailer Sun & Sand Sports

Throughout, Landini Associates employs the retailer’s vibrant yellow to communicate energy, excitement, and the pure enjoyment of sports life.
“Sun & Sand Sports’ typical store location offers more than 90 diverse sports brands to discerning customers across the region, and they have among the fastest-growing online sales in the world,” says Cheng, who has worked on designs for dozens of retail launches with Landini Associates. “Our goal was to focus this energy into a retail experience that better expresses the brand: fun and engaging.”

In-store communications

Adding to this is the new typography Landini Associates created for the stores: friendly and approachable, working visually to tie together the need for dual language in-store communications. Playful iconography adds to the welcoming nature of the new signage, contrasting the dynamic illustrative graphics that engage the customer with imagery of movement and sports inspiration.

Known for its multidisciplinary approach and mission to “Reinvent Normal,” Landini Associates designed the interiors and all in-store graphics, including signage, wayfinding, ticketing, and point-of-sale displays.

With more than 200 stores in six markets across the Middle East, Sun & Sand Sports stands far and away as the UAE leader in sports retailing. Landini Associates is globally recognized for award-winning, bottom-line-savvy retail design, with a client list including Glassons, Marks and Spencers, Emart, ALDI, Amore Pacific, Jurlique, Burt’s Bees, Sarah & Sebastian, David Jones and Selfridges, amongst many others.

Photos courtesy: Landini Associates