Toby’s Sports opens flagship store in BGC
Toby’s Sports, the leading multi-brand sports retailer in the country, has opened its flagship store and it promises to elevate the sports enthusiasts’ shopping experience.
The 1,000-sqm, two-storey space is located in Bonifacio High Street Central along 5th Avenue in Bonifacio Global City.
“First, we really wanted to create a pinnacle shopping experience, a retail store that is world-class,” said Toby’s Sports president Toby Claudio. “It’s our 40th anniversary this year as a business so we wanted to come up with something big. We’ve always been looking for a suitable location for a flagship store so when we got this place here in 5th Avenue, which is the heart of BGC, we saw a lot of potential in it. We maximized the height and put a hole through the second floor to really make it big, look tall.”
Claudio did a lot of research in major cities around the world—from New York, London, Tokyo to LA—and looked at the best sports retail stores and flagship stores of brands such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armor.
Toby’s commissioned the services of two architectural firms, Philippine-based Sonia Santiago Olivares & Associates (SSOa) and Blocher + Blocher, a husband and wife firm from Germany.
“One of the best in the country is SSOa and they collaborated with one of the top German design firms who’s very well-known for their retail design. They really come up with dramatic and really global flagship stores,” Claudio explained. “We worked with them to create the concept for this store—six months in planning and another six months for the construction. It was one of the longest projects that we have ever undertaken.”
Claudio pointed out that more than just the design, the Toby’s Sports BGC Flagship Store has many firsts. Some of the latest digital technologies were incorporated to further enhance customer experience.
“This is one of the first stores in the country to integrate touch-screen walls, interactive walls that customers can use to browse our website and learn about the latest products. Obviously, sports items have so much technology and features in them so to allow customers to discover for themselves all that, we use the RFID technology,” Claudio explained.
Another feature is LaunchZone, where the newest and best sports products are showcased.
“It’s almost like a museum exhibit. It will also be a venue for special events. We plan to do clinics, demos, talks, especially athlete appearances,” he added.
On the second level of the store is the PlayZone where basketball enthusiasts can practice their shooting skills. It uses a professional shooting gun that is usually used by the professional basketball teams.
There’s also the Toby’s Custom Lab which can create custom uniforms and jerseys. Customers can also have their merchandise personalized here.
At the Click and Collect counter on the ground floor, customers of its website, tobys.com, can simply pick up what they have already paid for online. In this way, customers won’t have to wait for their items to be shipped.
“Nowadays, stores really have to offer more than just products to sell so our goal was to create an immersive environment, something that will inspire people to play—in fact a place to play—and enjoy sports while in the store,” Claudio said.
The Toby’s Sports president is just thankful that even if they are a local brand, they were given a location that’s usually for international flagships.
“I’ve been to a lot of flagship stores globally and I think, modesty aside, this can hold its own against some of the best stores that I’ve seen in other countries. It’s doing quite well, actually even better, than we expected in the two weeks that we’ve been open,” shared Claudio.
“This is really where the brand is headed and this is a showcase of what we can do, to prove that even after 40 years, we’re constantly improving our stores and the brand and investing in making it better,” he concluded.
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