Leicester City FC opens new generation fanstore

Leicester City Football Club selected London-based retail designers The Design Solution to create their new generation Foxes Fanstore which opened this week at the club’s home, King Power Stadium.

The refurbished 7500 square foot Foxes Fanstore is designed to be every Leicester City fan’s dream store, sharing the passion of the club in an experiential space that seeks to offer an original new perspective on the club store concept, moving well beyond the traditional central focus on replica shirts to a unique sharing of the club’s passion and personality.

The radically new store layout takes fans on a club journey through curated areas and includes a notably stronger focus on fashion, featuring not only in sports and casualwear but also extending into more formal options, including businesswear. This adventurous expansion of the fashion options reflects the long established fashion retail expertise of club owners King Power International Group, particularly in luxury fashion in South East Asia and the Travel Retail sector.

The core Athleisure zone incorporates a powerful presence from Adidas, the club’s kit sponsor,  in-house designed contemporary fashion brand Fox & Crop as well as dedicated football sections, including the full 2018-19 season range of the new Leicester City FC technical team kit.

Further in-store zones include RETRO – celebrating iconic LCFC shirts from the past; a Fox Gifts zone; the Foxes Juniors zone, focused on younger fans and families; and an exclusive large scale presentation of the KSBN label, sharing the club’s links to renowned rock band Kasabian, lifelong fans of Leicester City. Throughout the store fans are immersed in a broader retail experience that offers new ways to convey their passion for their club and its 134-year history.

The design of the space expresses a modern urban style with particularly strong use of digital elements, including large-scale screens pumping up the matchday atmosphere throughout the store by running a bespoke showreel of matchday news, match action and club content interspersed with merchandise information.

Large-scale digital feature columns and ceiling features provide the focal point and signposting in each key product area, including the eye-catching full-scale ‘caged’ video action of the club’s top players sharing their ball skills, offering an unmissable in-store photo opportunity for fans to share on social media.

Digital displays provide on-screen ordering across the store to support faster service, especially for the fans’ key need for a quick personalisation service for replica kits – often cited by fans as the single most frustrating aspect of the club store experience at almost every ground.

The club’s passion is reflected through the store design, not only in the expected use of the signature colours of blue and white but also in sharing LCFC’s fighting spirit, such as through the club mantras ‘Belief’ and Power’ installed into the floor. These words also act as markers, subtly guiding visitors on their journey through the store.

Robbie Gill, Managing Director, The Design Solution, says: “Every design challenge is a personal one but, as a lifelong fan of the game, the global passion of football is open to everyone and we wanted the design to express that spirit.

“By both reflecting and genuinely sharing the fans’ passion for their club we have tried to move this space from a sports shop to something that fans can enjoy – a truly ‘Leicester Experience’ built on much more than the buying of replica kit.  Fans do, of course, want to wear their club kit but the innovation of King Power with their retail background is to expand the clothing further into casual and business clothing.  Our challenge was to balance both.

This is truly a new style of destination store for fans of all ages to visit without ever losing sight of the massive digital dynamic of this incredible sport; football.”

Susan Whelan, Leicester City Football Club Chief Executive, (and Senior Vice President, King Power International Group), adds: “It was great to see so many fans come down to the  launch event and meet some of our players and legends. We are really proud to open the new Foxes Fanstore, which will provide our supporters with a retail experience that is best in class.

“The launch is an exciting development which enables Leicester City to increase its range of products offered to our supporters and demonstrate King Power’s ongoing commitment to improving the club’s infrastructure.”

Leicester City’s home games attract a significant number of fans travelling from across the world to see the team and tour the ground, including a very strong following from Thailand, home of the club’s owners, King Power.  The club is also featured strongly at King Power retail destinations within Thailand, including the award-winning Rangnam downtown luxury retail complex in Bangkok and at King Power stores at a number of Thai airports, with The Design Solution responsible for many of the store designs at these locations.

The store’s launch attracted thousands of fans to see Leicester City Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha and Club Ambassador Alan Birchenall cut the ribbon at a special family launch event. They were joined by Leicester City captain, Wes Morgan, who took part in a Q&A session on stage, with new signing James Maddison and Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury joined them on stage after the ribbon cutting.

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