Perhaps we’re a bit biased, but we think that the Chicago adidas Originals store exemplifies what the retail experience should be like in 2021. It’s an authentic, fun, artful, and value-forward shopping experience that communicates the mission and spirit of the brand. It’s definitely worth the in-person trip, which is a critical litmus test in the post-Covid-19 world.
Beyond the pre-Covid online shopping competition, a post-Covid retail store needs to provide compelling reasons to visit, and prove that they take public health seriously. adidas Originals does that by creating a shopping experience akin to a visit to an art gallery.
adidas Originals: The Flagship Store
The Flagship adidas Originals store on Milwaukee Ave in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood is bright and open. It’s adidas Originals’ largest store to date, with a warehouse-style lofted ceiling, and exposed brick. Everything is sleek, bright, and minimalist, allowing the products to pop off their shelves and pedestals like pieces of fine art. The sneakers, bags, and clothing are the most colorful things in the store, and draw the shopper’s eyes.
They have comfy Mid-Century Modern inspired armchairs and sofas for shoppers to sit on, and low rustic coffee tables to set down bags or armfuls of desired garments. Everything is relatively low, allowing for a clear view across the store. The store also has several live trees and large plants, which encourage the perception of peaceful open space. The fitting rooms are styled like an El train, complete with brushed steel walls like the exterior of one of Chicago’s train cars, and a bench identical to those you would find on any train platform in the city.
Along the right hand side of the store, there’s an open hallway, artificially created with a low brick wall. The hallway is home to adidas Originals’ art gallery, handpicked and rotated often by IPaintMyMind as part of our Art Rental Services. The store has been host to a variety of Chicago artists including Sam Kirk, Ethan D’Ercole, Kate Lewis, and most recently, Bee Harris. The prints are hung along the wall, encouraging customers to follow them physically along the duration of the hall. Below the artwork are a few sneakers propped up on grey metal pedestals.
In different times, the Milwaukee Ave store has been host to concerts with local rappers, exclusive product launches, DJ sets, and more. Beyond being located in Wicker Park, they are a part of the community. The store’s engagement with local musicians and artists illustrates their commitment to their neighbors and their local community. They’re not only a store, but a destination where one can shop, appreciate art, listen to music, and keep up with high fashion and culture.
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