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New Concept Store For JD Sports

What was the client’s requirement?

JD Pro is a new concept store owned by our long-standing client JD Sports Fashion that specialises in performance sports for the ‘everyday athlete’ – in particular the brand stocks clothing, footwear and sports equipment for a range of activities including running, swimming and football.

Our team at Astra Signs has been working alongside the JD Pro Store Development Manager, James Fuller and Yard Creative to visualise and develop a unique and innovative signage and retail store fit out that would stand out from the competition and appeal to the JD Pro target market – fashion-forward, affluent, performance-focused, everyday athletes.

Work on the JD Pro store located in Whiteleys Shopping Centre has been completed and Astra Signs are working hard on rolling this innovative signage solution out across the country.

What was delivered?

From the initial brainstorming and planning stage, it was our job at Astra Signs to turn the initial concepts into prototypes, taking a number of considerations into account and carrying out feasibility tests to choose the best materials and finishes to ensure this unique and innovative project not only looked great, but had the durability to stand the test of time. A number of initial ideas were rejected at this stage as they did not fulfill every element of the brief, which is an important step in the development process that ensures the end product is the ‘best-fit’ solution for the client.

A number of signage solutions were taken to the development stage, such as:

Metal mesh fascia

This bespoke solution has been created using a unique metal mesh material that has not been seen anywhere else on the high street, in a bid to stand JD Pro apart from its competitors and position it at the top end of the market.

This retail fascia was spray painted to align with the brand colour, and lit with a blue neon strip to give an even, overall blue hue creating an interesting lighting effect that is yet to be seen anywhere else in a retail context.

The initial concept store required a vibrant running track to be laid across the shop floor and it was decided that a hard-wearing vinyl would be the most appropriate material for this solution.

The next challenge for the running track will be met in the next JD Pro store, where our team will be tasked with cutting out a channel from a concrete floor to lay LED lighting and a frosted Perspex covering to create an illuminated running track that spans the length and breadth of the store.

To attract further attention within the store itself, a series of exposed neon lettering housed within 3D metal mesh was manufactured and hung at a high level around the perimeter of the store.

It is often the case that our project managers and design teams take inspiration from unusual places, and this particular job was no different. Using the design from the pin boards often used in cafes, we recreated a 200mm version and brought it right up to date.

Using the pattern and spacing from an old pinboard, we laser cut holes to achieve a uniform size, spacing and position and created acrylic, cut-out lettering that pin directly in to the board.

This unique wayfinding solution creates an eye-catching spot directly above the clothing racks that direct customers to different parts of the store depending on what it is they are looking for.

Literally hundreds of polystyrene lettering sets were produced to spell out words for different locations around the store. These letters had to be cost-effective, lightweight and quick to manufacture and to ensure they remain of a high quality, our team created a uniform size and specification and mounted the different words on to a black base.

These unique word sets act as a simple wayfinding and directional solution for these innovative stores.

To further communicate with customers within the store, a series of textile lightboxes were created to add interest and distribute different messages.

Each one of these lightboxes is covered with a tension fabric to give a uniform distribution of light across a 3.6 m height and 1.1 m width.

At the rear of this particular JD Sports store, the shop fitters had created an unusual curved wall to accommodate the football merchandise available.

It was our job to create a bespoke, curved lightbox solution that would perfectly fit this space and add interest and a focal point to the area. It was down to our experienced surveyors and fitters to map out the area, taking accurate measurements and producing detailed technical drawings for the design teams to work with.

The finished solution was an accurate lightbox solution that perfectly fitted the space available within the store.

What is the outcome?

JD Pro is a unique, concept store that has never been seen before on the British High Street, and required a signage and retail fit out solution to reflect that.

Our teams worked extremely closely with JD Sports Fashion to produce a completely bespoke, utterly unique and extremely high quality solution that perfectly captured the imagination of the fashion-forward, affluent target market.

The continuous process of development and improvement has been the key to producing the exceptional quality finish achieved – every element of the design, materials and finish has been considered and completed to the highest standards that the client is happy to roll out across the UK.