SHANGHAI–Canadian outdoor brand Arc’teryx’s has opened its largest store to date and its first global flagship this past weekend in Shanghai.
The two-storey, 8,000 square-foot space in Lippo Plaza on Huaihai Road brings its total store network in China to 30, of which seven are factory outlet stores. The high-end sports brand has over 80 branded stores worldwide and is sold in 3,000 retail locations.
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“Arc’teryx Alpha Center is our brand’s first global flagship store, and in designing this store, we wanted to create a shopping experience that was unique not only to our brand, but also to our customers as well,” said Megan Cheesbrough, vice president of retail, Arc’teryx. “As a brand, we want to encourage everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and with this in mind, we’ve decided to bring the outdoors in by incorporating the concept of hut-to-hut touring into our store design.”
These different huts, or areas, include a trianglular kaleidoscope LED screen displaying views of the sweeping Canadian mountain landscape, accompanied by the soothing sounds of nature: birds chirping, water running, wind blowing, and leaves tumbling. There’s also a Gore-Tex hut which features a “rain room,” allowing customers to try on and water-test the technical functions of Gore-Tex product. Meanwhile, the Hardgoods Hut includes a Via Ferrata climbing wall leading up to the second floor. Stationed on the second floor is the Brand hut, which houses a virtual reality module that changes seasonally, a community lounge, and an events board.
The store is completely powered by renewable energy generated from a wind farm in China’s Guangxi province, and it will also be the first store to offer product from the brand’s entire range of performance, lifestyle, and its advanced technical Veilance collections.
“We want to create an unparalleled shopping experience at Arc’teryx Alpha Center, and one of the ways we could do this is to offer a selection of different products serving different purposes, all in one space,” said Cheesbrough. “Whether you’re looking for a pair of trail running shoes and a climbing harness, or an insulated hardshell and an urban-styled coat, we want Arc’teryx to be available to everyone.”
The big investment into the Chinese market is a reflection of growing appetite in the country for outdoor activities–the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 is on the horizon and will be a big push for the government–but also Arc’teryx Chinese investors.
Last year, China’s Anta Sports led a consortium–alongside private equity firm FountainVest Partners, Chip Wilson-owned Anamered Investments and Tencent Holdings–to complete its acquisition of Arc’teryx owner Amer Sports for 4.7 billion euros. Other brands in the group include Salomon, Peak Performance, Atomic, Suunto, Wilson, and Precor.
Key changes were made to the senior management of Amer Sports last week. Heikki Takala, who served for ten years as president and ceo of the group, announced his stepping down. James Zheng, currently group president of Anta Sports will be taking over his responsibilities in addition to his existing duties at Anta. Zheng is joined at Amer Sports by Michael Hauge Sorensen as chief operating officer, a newly created role for the group.
“Key growth initiatives will focus on product development, direct to consumer oriented channel operation and digitalization to fully unleash Amer Sports’ potential,” the statement on Friday said.