// Sports Direct will open its third flagship tomorrow inside Manchester’s Arndale Centre
// The 50,000sq ft store spans five floors and includes dedicated interactive areas for football, golf, running, outdoor and swimming
Sports Direct opens the doors tomorrow to its new 50,000sq ft Manchester flagship making way for its “most advanced store to date”.
The impressive space, located inside the city’s Arndale Centre, spans five floors and houses specialist sporting zones, interactive experiences and curated activation spaces.
The store is a step forward in the brand’s elevation strategy, which was masterminded by CEO Michael Murray in his previous role as head of elevation. The plan is to take the sportswear brand more upmarket through slicker, more experiential stores.
In the Manchester store, dedicated areas have been set out for football, golf, running, outdoor and swimming alongside men’s, women’s and kidswear. It also houses smaller areas for racket sports, boxing and cycling.
Interactive activations are dotted throughout the store including a Jordan basketball performance challenge on the ground floor, a mini golf putting green on the first floor as well as a subsoccer table football and Xbox station on the second floor.
Scattered around the flagship are digital touch points allowing shoppers to learn more about the in-store ranges.
The retailer has partnered with SafeSize to upgrade its running gait analysis technology from a treadmill to a 3D foot scanner making it more approachable for customers.
A smaller version of the Bra Studio, which it debuted in its London and Birmingham flagships, can be found on the second floor with best-selling sports bras and leggings.
The lower ground floor houses USC and is the largest dedicated space inside a Sports Direct store to date. It also includes for the first time a Vans installation.
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 to become the number one sports retailer in EMEA.
“Each new store opening is pivotal to the next phase of growth for the group, as we continue to bring the very best brands, environment, product innovations, and experiences to the high street.
“Manchester is a significant location for the group, and we’re excited to be opening our next flagship in the city,” he said.