Connect with us

Product of the Day

Smart fitting rooms unlock UA experience

The new Under Armor Brand Icon House boasts a system that detects items, then provides information and alternatives, writes JASON BANNIER.

The smart fitting rooms of the new Under Armor (UA) Brand Icon House recognise items brought in, and immediately display related products, sizes and colours on an integrated iPad. The rooms feature radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, enabling a personalised shopping experience. One can also request the assistance of a shop attendant via the iPad.

Apollo Brands, the official distributor of UA in South Africa, launched the store on Saturday (27 April 2024) in Sandton City, Johannesburg. UA is a sportswear company specialising in performance footwear, apparel, and equipment.

Now it has extended its high-tech from its sportswear to the experience of trying out the products.

Upon bringing items into the fitting room, they are recognised and displayed. This feature personalises the shopping journey by suggesting complementary outfits and alternatives, transforming the fitting room into an interactive shopping hub.

“Globally, we partnered with the smart fitting room company called Crave Retail,” says Brent Venter, head of retail for Apollo Brands. “I felt it was important for us to create a more engaging aspect for our consumers.”

A console stands in the store, serving the same purposes as the systems found in the fitting rooms.

“The RFID based system reads the code on the product,” says Venter. “The console then displays stock on hand, sizes, colours, and an option to call for assistance.”

The store’s opening was marked by a powerful kick of a soccer ball through a glass panel by Brent Collinicos, general manager of Apollo Brands. With its shatter, The Icon Brand House was declared open. The store has the largest floor space for the brand in South Africa, at over 344 square meters.

Collinicos says: “We’re not just expanding our distribution; we’re also raising the bar and continually re-investing in existing locations.

“This renowned retail location represents our dedication to delivering an exceptional retail experience to our valued consumers and athletes.

“We are a growing sportwear brand and this expansion in the iconic Sandton City underpins an exciting milestone as we continue to elevate brand-lead retail experiences.”

The store boasts a 3D relief map of the Johannesburg skyline, highlighting key sporting venues around the city, such as Wanderers, Pirates, Ellis Park, and the Calabash.

The store features artwork by renowned artist Sinenhlanhla (Sine) Chauke, and a dedicated “chill” area, decorated with fabrics inspired by South African designs.

The launch event was attended by top-performing UA sponsored athletes, including Olympic swimming gold medallist and world record holder Tatjana Smith (formerly Schoenmaker), prominent soccer player Kegan Johannes, and professional boxer Kevin Lerena.

Collinicos says: “This isn’t just a retail space; Sandton City is a gateway to an enhanced sportswear shopping experience.  We’re excited to invite our South African athletes and consumers to step into an experience where innovation meets inspiration.”

* Visit the Under Armor website here.

* Jason Bannier is a data analyst at World Wide Worx and writer for Follow him on Twitter and Threads at @jas2bann.

Subscribe to our free newsletter
To Top