Adidas makes a big splash in Delhi
The German sportswear giant launches its flagship product “Home of Possibilities” in the capital and keeps “the experience” – from personalization to fitness routines – at the heart
This week saw the opening of Adidas’ first flagship store in India.
We all went to an Adidas store. For some, it’s about timeless classics like the Stan Smith or lining up with the Yeezy craze, while others may have scoured their next kit for a run or workout. And then, of course, there are the football fans and their endless sagas on the latest kit kit. But in all of this, if you ask me, while we have had some great products, we may never have had them all together under one roof, or under any roof, finding them online in many cases. At other times, sizing may have been an issue, and there has always remained the unspoken but slight segregation of the Originals lines from sports and performance gear.
Launching the flagship now is a big step for times when social distancing and staying closed has become the norm. It certainly seems to exemplify their motto, “Impossible is Nothing” as the brand has broken new ground in finding ways to make the offline shopping experience appealing again.
For this flagship, it has it all. Four floors, separate sections for women, men, children and special areas for sustainable clothing, outdoor equipment, limited outlet lines, an entire area dedicated to football and a very special ‘Delhi Shop’ , which offers customization as well as some special outing stuff.
It got me thinking about how buying an Apple product in India, to draw a parallel, still doesn’t seem complete as we lack the ‘Genius Bar’ experience that really sets the brand apart from the rest in the world. their domain. This flagship store manages to deliver not only the products but also the philosophy behind the three stripe brand. And we’re not cheated with some sort of ‘lite’ version just because it’s India (and we don’t know any better, or because we’re used to getting the ‘less’ treatment from most international brands. ). Once inside, you might be at the Munich store or the Dubai store. That’s all that and then, as an added bonus, there are a few local touches such that it’s hard to get in and not feel a connection. And it will be even more difficult to pass him and not enter!
An experience center
But it is not simple nostalgia that pulls the strings of the heart. The store is very modern and almost seems like a living, breathing entity that envelops you, takes you in its folds, gently transfers you from one area to another as you walk through it. It’s like browsing their website, but in real time. The walls (and even the ceilings and floors) are generously dotted with gigantic digital screens with a sleek graphic loop, with displays that are either partly mirrors or turned off and become fully reflective mirrors when you approach them. Award-winning visual artist Santanu Hazarika created the artwork all around, drawing inspiration from various local elements, making the whole look like a brave yet artistic, chic and most certainly Indian street.
The flagship has appeared in Connaught Place, and unlike a regular Adidas store – which is more static and standardized in its appearance – it preserves and glorifies much of the colonial charm of buildings in the area. A masterpiece is the hand-tufted rug with locally sourced and made shamrock, which adorns the athleisure section of the third floor.
The store is not just for shopping; Think of it as a branded experience center. Fitness routines run by their in-house team of experts will all be organized, starting from and culminating here. Heritage runs through Delhi from Lutyens to a yoga session in lush green parks, this place will serve as the epicenter for all of these (urban) adventures, turning a simple purchase into a rewarding and lasting experience.
Now the question remains, what if one does not live in Delhi? Can we live this experience online? Well, with their new site, of course – at least part of it. But even then, it won’t be laid out like this candy store here. So, if you want the ‘Willy Wonka’ experience, you’ll need to visit this huge store mothership the next time you’re in the capital. They call it the House of Possibilities. As I left, I felt I knew why.