On models London trainer store on “shoppable science museum”


Swiss brand On has opened its first UK shop on London‘s Regent Street, complete with steel fixtures and a robotic arm.

For its debut outpost in the United Kingdom, On aimed to showcase the science and technology behind its running shoes and clothing.

Sportswear shop on London's Regents Street
On has opened a trainer store on London’s Regent Street

“Our concept was a shoppable science museum in the sense that one of the main things we want to share is that what we do is science-based,” said On’s head of brand environments Nicholas Martin.

It is performance-run culture that is infused into everything we do.”

The store’s ground floor is defined by three circular steel tables, used to display the brand’s latest products.

Stainless steel table in On's trainer store
The store contains three circular steel tables

Each of the tables, which can be raised and lowered, is surrounded by a curved steel wall that can be rotated to create a variety of layouts within the store.

The table at the store’s entrance also holds a robotic arm that mimics the action of running to showcase On’s running shoes.

Stainless steel shoe cabinets are located on the upper floor
The upper floor houses steel shoe cabinets

“The first thing you actually see is our robotic arm,” Martin told Dezeen. “We want people to touch and explore. So you kind of get to see the movement.”

“And then we also try to add different layers of storytelling,” he continued. “So you can compare the different shoes.”

Steel trainer cabinet known as the magic wall
On describes the cabinets as a “magic wall”

The first floor is defined by a pair of steel cabinets, described by On as a “magic wall” that runs the length of the store.

It contains all of On’s products in all available sizes so that customers can instantly try on trainers.

“Our goal was to revolutionise the way shoe try-ons happen,” said Martin. “At our stores, we let the product speak for itself. Our technology is something you feel once you put a product on.”

Contrasting the steel fixtures, the store’s walls were finished in natural clay sourced from Cornwall, which was applied by hand.

On the ground floor and in the basement-level event space, the walls are painted in a muted shade of grey while on the upper floors, they are finished in green.

On shoes in metal cabinets
The cabinets contain all sizes of On’s shoes

“Swiss engineering means for us loving technology and the natural world,” said Martin. “Technology makes the store look sleek, nature helps us to give the store a more imperfect and warmer look.”

“The store green is a nod to the legendary British racing green – a colour culturally saturated in movement, speed and engineering,” he continued.

On's store on Regents Street
The store is On’s first in the UK

Founded in 2010, On is known for its lightweight running shoes and is reportedly the fastest-growing running brand worldwide. Its stores form part of On’s wider efforts to build its brand internationally.

“They offer a space for our fans, community and new customers to explore and get to know the brand,” said Martin. “We see the store as a media channel that connects our fans with the brand.”

On previously created a reflective mountain cabin in the Swiss Alps to mark the launch of its first hiking shoe.

All photography courtesy of On.


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