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Musto, Brighton

The 35-year-old sailing brand makes the most of its rugged reputation with an in-store revamp.

Musto has a long-standing reputation as a tough outdoor brand with a strong 35-year sailing heritage and niche technical expertise.

As the brand expanded its collections to include lifestyle and fashion-oriented casualwear, it became clear that it needed a shopfit that could showcase both sides of its offer in a unified way. And that’s just what the brand, founded by Olympic sailing medallist and engineer Keith Musto, has done.

Musto has been making sailing and country sports products for more than 35 years. But despite this heritage, the Brighton shop – designed by retail design agency RPA Vision – has a contemporary feel that references the brand’s past while allowing the product to be centre of attention.

Musto retail director Paul Rooke says: “We wanted a contemporary store concept that built on Musto’s brand values and heritage, while also helping the brand to resonate with a broader audience.”

RPA Vision creative director Nigel Collett says the key aim was to engage the newer lifestyle customer without alienating the existing technical shopper.

“We have worked on a concept that is confident, straightforward, engaging and dynamic to fit the Musto brand values,” he says. Fittingly, the shopfit is made using a variety of seagoing materials that refer to the brand’s sailing heritage, including neoprene rubber, plywood and hard lacquered white surfaces.

“We didn’t want to have ropes hanging from the ceiling and more obvious things that some brands might do,” says Collett. “There’s a lot of neoprene in the products, so we have rubber on the counters and shelving insets, but all the materials are interwoven into the floors, walls and counters in a more subtle way. The overall finish is white to focus on the product.”

The brand’s lifestyle product is in the front half of the store, while technical and sports-inspired product is displayed towards the back. The halfway point is marked by a feature display – a rain tube – which is a sealed display of a piece of outerwear. As a shopper approaches, simulated rain falls on the item.

Collett explains: “We wanted to have that interactive element and also show off the technical properties of the product.”

The store also has wall-mounted graphics combining seasonal lifestyle-inspired shots with more active sport iconography for the technical product.

There is also a ‘heritage wall’ covered with graphics and text which explain the product, its history and qualities. The imagery is carried through to the fitting rooms on the wallpaper.

Musto hopes to double its 10-store portfolio over the next 18 months with stores of up to 1,500sq ft. The 800sq ft store in Brighton will act as a blueprint for further store
openings, concessions and shop-in-shops.

Essentials:
800sq ft: Size of the Brighton store
10: Number of stores in the UK
20: Number of years that RNLI members have worn Musto

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