Bucking retail trends, Rapha, recently invested in the expansion of its flagship store, located a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus, to deliver the best of the brand to the capital’s cycling community. Now almost twice the size of the original store and offering a premium experience for men and women, Rapha’s first UK Clubhouse, originally opened in 2012, features a larger product range, personal shopping and upgraded fitting rooms. A larger café area welcomes its riding community for a calendar of events and rides, with rides out every day of the week.
Better Member Experiences
The decision to expand is a renewed commitment to the cyclists of London. Simon Mottram, Rapha Founder and CEO, explained: “While the news recently has been all about shops closing I’m really excited that Rapha is bucking the trend and expanding our London Clubhouse”. “Rapha was launched in London in 2004 and the Clubhouse in Soho was one of our first physical spaces, so it’s always been special for us. For many of our customers buying Rapha products is just part of their relationship with us.”, continues Mottram. “Rapha Clubhouses exist for members to find the products they want but also to help them get closer to the cycling community and closer to the sport itself. So it’s great that we will now have more space to host exhibitions and events and a better appointed cafe for London’s cyclists to enjoy, along with room to show our entire product range”, concludes Mottram.
Enhanced Live Events
For the audio and music systems Perfect Octave delivers the audio soundtrack to enhance live events,experiences and background music occurring in-house at Rapha. The audio system hardware deployed includes a four-zone audio mixer from Cloud Electronics to which six separate audio sources including a Denon media player, Apple TV, a Mac Mini, digital signage audio from the video wall, a laptop and the music player from Perfect Octave are all connected. The audio from each can be routed to one, all or any of the audio zones in the Clubhouse using a number of strategically located Cloud RSL-6 remote volume/source selection controls installed. A blend of ceiling, pendant and wall loudspeakers, manufactured by Cloud Electronics, are installed in both retail zones, the cafe area, changing rooms and WC’s. Power is provided by Cloud’s CA4250 amplifier, providing up to 1kw of sound across four zones. A Shure GLXD24R radio microphone system with handheld SM58 wireless microphone is available for live presentations in any of the audio zones. “The team at Aura Futures and Perfect Octave understood the requirements exactly for Clubhouse, providing us with the ability to play out the soundtrack from separate live events in different areas at the same time. This means we can show different live races on the screens throughout the Clubhouse or video wall, accompanied with the right soundtrack”, comments Justin Maynard, IT Retail Development Manager for Rapha. “We aim to host live events and presentations in-store, often at the same time. Switching a microphone on our new system automatically lowers the music or race event in the right zone so presenters can be heard immediately and with minimum fuss.”, adds Maynard. “Perfect Octave also ingested our Spotify playlists into our new music system to allow us to play our music seamlessly and legally in-store. It allows us to add tracks and playlists on-the-fly if needed, which keeps the in-store music fresh and revitalised”, summarises Maynard. As restrictions are eased, the Clubhouse will offer the ultimate Rapha experience and everything the brand has to offer: a community hub, a trusted destination and a gateway to discovering new roads.
“The system installed at Rapha allows the team to adapt to live events, on-screen events and in-store presentations, almost instantaneously, to enhance customer and member experiences.”, comments Peter Sheppard, Technical Director for Perfect Octave.