GBH gets claws into Puma stores

Sportswear brand Puma is poised to revamp its concept stores worldwide over the coming year, to boost its burgeoning lifestyle status, Design Week can exclusively reveal. GBH will supply creative input.

While the brand is still playing catch-up with Nike and Adidas, its positioning has been transformed since chief executive Jochen Zeitz picked up the baton in 1993, and recent figures show accelerated progress. Last month, the company announced profits would rise by 50 per cent this year and predicted double-digit average sales growth until 2006.

GBH’s brief involves developing in-store ideas – across new media, environmental graphics, point-of-sale and packaging – to create more ‘excitement’ about the brand.

The first work will be unveiled in the autumn in Puma’s Carnaby Street flagship in London and the project is due to encompass around 20 stores globally.

‘[The core proposal] is to make the store sell to the customers,’ says GBH director Jason Gregory. ‘By that, [Puma] means how to get the most out of brand communication through the store itself.’

Referring to Carnaby Street, Gregory says the current store design is ‘fairly neutral’ and says the brand presence could be more ‘edgy, street and tongue-in-cheek’.

The project will not go as far as a refit of the Carnaby Street store at this stage, says Gregory, with the focus on more ambient media, including seasonal promotions, creative installations and graphical treatments.

Puma director of global brand management Antonio Bertone appointed GBH in January – initially for 12 months – on the strength of its Design Week Award-winning work on the Eurostar first-class lounges.

He says, ‘The store is a way for our consumers to interact with the brand. The objective we’ve set for GBH is to make Puma concept stores a destination point for consumers, not just a retail store.’

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