Reebok has long staked a claim to a slice of the sports market, and though it’s appreciably smaller than that of the major players, the Canton, MA-based company has managed to stay in the game even as their competitors duke it out in an arms race to sign superstars and rack up medals, both literally and metaphorically. But what’s the next step for a brand best known for now-nostalgic Pumps and the aerobics fad?
We found out last week, at the grand opening of their first dedicated retail space in the U.S.: in an effort to make the most of their resurgence within the CrossFit community, the Canton, MA-based company is pleased to present the Reebok Fit Hub, a combination store and gym. (The CrossFit phenomenon is a bit too involved to explain here; the uninitiated can learn more at CrossFit.com.) Where Reebok’s products are designed to meet the performance needs of occasional gym-goer and diehard CrossFitter alike, the Fit Hub caters to all variety of customer—the Fifth Avenue storefront has attracted a healthy mix of curious tourists, local passersby and fitness gurus.
The staff, of course, is comprised of the latter type: Reebok has made a concerted effort to hire individuals who are passionate about fitness, including trainers and health experts who can provide offer far more guidance than your average salesperson. Moreover, the Fit Hub is the only place to find much of the product, which was previously only available online, to the benefit of the burgeoning NYC CrossFit community.
Reebok called on Ziba to design the retail concept, which allows for flexible displays and fixtures precisely because much of the furniture and hardware was inspired by the gymnasium setting. The hard lines of metal and masonite are mitigated mostly by strategically-placed product and color blocking; nary a sheet of plywood is fully painted; playful details are more subtle still (astute visitors will have to find these for themselves). Yet there’s no denying the functionality of the wall-mounted rigs, which can be reconfigured for different products, or the step-like stools in the footwear section have the same cutout handles as the actual workout equipment downstairs.
This post was originally published by core77.com on August 24, 2012.