Embedding a Deep Sense of Community, Music & Street Culture into DTLR Stores across the US

Location: US

With over 250 stores in the US across 19 states, lifestyle retailer, DTLR, offer the hottest brands in street-inspired fashion, including Nike, adidas, Jordan, New Balance, and more.

Sitting at the very heart of US neighbourhoods, DTLR shopping mall and high street stores serve as hang out spots and destination hubs for members of tight-nit communities. Further extending its community focus and engagement, the popular apparel and footwear retailer hosts a radio station for the ultimate in-store music experience, and offers support to local schools through donations of apparel and footwear.

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THE CHALLENGE

To support the success of DTLR’s ongoing ambitious store opening program, our initial work with the brand would comprise of designing a handful of components for several DTLR store retrofits that would instantly elevate interiors and facades and ensure consistent application of DTLR’s brand DNA across the retailer’s estate.

Following this initial stage, our challenge was to create a new, next gen store concept that would bring to life the deep sense of community, music and culture embedded within the DTLR brand, as well as bringing a sense of energy and pace to the shopping experience.

OUR APPROACH

We transformed the DTLR retail environment into a destination for the community and its street and sportswear needs.

Alongside DTLR’s retail offer, we curated an interior that champions local communities via a hub that encourages expression through music and culture. Whilst configurations will vary from location to location depending on the size and shape of the stores, the next gen concept is underpinned by a handful of strategy-led principles that ensure a consistent brand experience across DTLR stores.

 

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Due to higher demand, the “Men’s” category takes the lion’s share of the store’s retail space, whilst the Kids zone (a key market for DTLR) can be found towards the back of the store. Contrasting, yet complimentary, textures and patterns have been used to distinguish the different category zones and define the brand’s multi-faceted identity.

At the front of the store, a flexible kit of parts can be configured in the window space to host DTLR Live sessions or to create a unique VM display showcasing the latest looks in street fashion. Meanwhile, a supersized screen facilitating in-store events, marketing campaigns, and brand takeovers acts as an anchor point at the back to encourage discovery deep within the store.

 

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With members of the community naturally congregating at the cash desk to talk about music, product drops, neighbourhood events, and DTLR news, we transformed the payment zone to better support this purpose. A large concrete ‘bar’ encourages people to lean whilst they talk, tickertape frames the area and highlights the latest product launches, and a screen displaying community news hangs above the cash desk on a backdrop of exciting product display.

Further elements of the retail system that look to augment the in-store experience include perimeter wall plinths, new-and-improved footwear seating, movable lightboxes to display DTLR’s unbeatable lifestyle photography, and midfloor displays of varying heights, albeit low enough to accommodate clear lines of site throughout, to encourage product exploration.

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Moving away from a plain, all-white interior, we introduced an updated colour and material palette that better aligns with the brand’s DNA and the personality of its community members. This included layering textures, such as corrugated metals, mesh and stainless steel, and making bold statements through colour, from painting the ceiling black to draw the eye down to using DTLR’s signature red to accentuate key category areas and leading brands, as well as hero products through simple yet effective red ‘frame’ highlighter devices on the perimeter wall.

RESULTS

We designed a new, next gen store concept for DTLR that showcases the best of streetwear and sports-inspired fashion, and a destination hub with a hyper-local focus that supports and celebrates the coming together of communities through music and cultural expression.

We look forward to hearing more as the concept is rolled out to DTLR stores across the US.

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Lucy Mister

8th January 2024