Reebok is to return to retail with a flagship store in Covent Garden as owner Adidas begins an expansion drive to plug the hole left by JJB Sports.
The brand, which is owned by Adidas, has taken the store which used to be occupied by fashion retailer Replay at 32 Long Acre, which will open at the beginning of September.
Adidas group retail director Rupert Campbell said the store allowed the group to push further into fitness. He described the store as “sexy, cool and friendly”.
It has also signed for a 2,690 sq ft store in Bluewater, which will open in time for Christmas. Campbell said he is on the hunt for further Reebok store locations but said it would have a largely London base to begin with.
Retail Week revealed last year that Reebok was on the hunt for shops.
Reebok’s growth is just part of the wider group’s expansion plan in the UK. It is on the hunt for more stores for both Adidas stores and Adidas Originals stores.
Campbell said: “It’s been nearly 12 months since JJB collapsed. Five years ago they were turning over a huge amount. There’s a gap in the market.”
“We want to grow our share of the premium brand market and doing it in our own stores is the best way to do it. We can present our brand the right way.”
In the UK, Adidas has just six mainline stores and two Adidas Originals stores alongside 21 outlet stores.
Campbell said Adidas is looking to open Adidas stores in all major cities. It will open a 608sq m flagship store in Trinity Leeds next Friday and has signed for a store in Newcastle’s Eldon Square.
The retailer plans to make it stores women-friendly and will look to launch activities such as running clubs and yoga classes at Trinity Leeds.
It is also looking for stores for its trendy Adidas Originals brand. Campbell said it will focus on London locations for the fascia.
He said: “We need to be in Shoreditch, Clapham, Notting Hill. London is a hotbed for fashion. It sets a lot of trends across the UK.”
Campbell stressed that Adidas would only sign for new property if the “right deals” were on offer.
Jones Lang LaSalle acts for Adidas.