`Sports retailers often suffer from visual domination by the brands stocked in the store and competitive outlets can become clones, stocking the same power brands with little to differentiate the separate retail chains,’ according to Matthew Bright, director at Metropolis 88.

The consultancy was commissioned to create interiors for 72-strong sports chain Cobra, which supported the individual product types and brands yet promoted the central Cobra branding.

The Cobra brand was communicated through colour, materials and hallmark features of the store such as the column and the till unit.

Individual colour palettes were established for Cobra’s sub-brands, Frontier and Sports, which were used in-store to demark sales areas.

`Colours evocative of the excitement of sport – reflex blue, silver and the Cobra green – were used in the Sports division `with a more earthy collection of brown and cream for the Frontier brand,’ says Bright.

Integrated graphics, a major aspect of the project, were used to create branded concept areas for commercial brands NBA and Overland, which has a perforated metal floor. `Lighting also played a key role in highlighting design features and products,’ says Bright.

The appearance of the shop front was opened up by increasing the height of the doors and introducing a new facia.

Metropolis 88 has also created a point-of-sale strategy, which focused on reiterating the Cobra brand at all points through presentation of information and graphics. This has already been implemented into all 72 stores.

A pilot store, in London’s Oxford Street, has been trading since the end of January, and a roll out to 43 stores will start this week.

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