// Sports Direct will open its third flagship tomorrow inside Manchester’s Arndale Center
// The 50,000-square-foot store spans five floors and includes dedicated interactive areas for soccer, golf, running, outdoor activities, and swimming.
Sports Direct opens the doors of its new 50,000 square foot Manchester flagship store tomorrow to make way for its ‘most advanced store to date’.
The impressive space, located within the city’s Arndale Centre, spans five floors and is home to specialist sports zones, interactive experiences and curated activation spaces.
The store is a step forward in the brand’s elevation strategy, which was devised by CEO Michael Murray in his previous role as head of elevation. The plan is to take the sportswear brand to a higher level through more stylish and experiential stores.
At the Manchester store, dedicated areas for football, golf, running, outdoor activities and swimming have been set up alongside clothing for men, women and children. It also houses smaller areas for racket sports, boxing and cycling.
Interactive activations are scattered throughout the store, including a Jordan basketball performance challenge on the ground floor, a miniature golf putting green on the first floor, as well as a foosball table and Xbox station on the second floor.
Scattered throughout the flagship are digital touchpoints that allow shoppers to learn more about the ranges in the store.
The retailer has partnered with SafeSize to upgrade its running gait analysis technology from a treadmill to a 3D foot scanner, making it more accessible to customers.
A smaller version of the Bra Studio, which debuted in its London and Birmingham flagship stores, can be found on the second floor with best-selling sports bras and leggings.
The ground floor houses USC and is the largest dedicated space inside a Sports Direct store to date. It also includes a Vans installation for the first time.
Meanwhile, the top floor is a gamer’s paradise with a Belong esports arena and game store.
Murray said: “Our third Sports Direct flagship marks another step towards our strategic goal of becoming the number one sports retailer in EMEA.
“Each new store opening is critical to the group’s next phase of growth as we continue to bring the best brands, environments, product innovations and experiences to the high street.
“Manchester is an important location for the group and we are excited to open our next flagship in the city,” he said.
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