Specialized, who is responsible for opening a new bike concept store in Sydney, appointed ONE Group Retail Experience to fulfil the fitout and project management role of transforming the historical building into a two level cycling enthusiastist store.

The features of the store include a mechanics workshop ‘on display’  behind glazing, the Specialized Body Geometry Fit Studio, an Ergo training room and a full range of bikes available for everyone to experience on the shop floor.

Hannah Ferens, Specialized retail services project manager, knew to get the result they were seeking; they needed to work with a partner they could trust. Having worked successfully together on other Specialized stores in Sydney, it was a clear choice.

“There was no need to go through a tender process; we knew ONE Group could deliver this project and meet our very high expectations, as they have done numerous times before,” she said.

“Our endeavour was to make the most of the great bones of the 400sqm property and to emphasise its heritage features whilst bringing warmth to the space. We felt that in this atmosphere the Specialized values to be authentic and approachable to all riders would be best presented.

ONE Group were critical to the realisation of the dream and worked within the confines of the heritage-listed property with care, using top quality materials to draw out the character of the building.

Fitting out a store in a heritage building in the centre of the financial district does not come without challenges. Permits and council regulations tested the team but they were quickly overcome through open-minded communication between ONE Group and the Specialized team.

The original timber features were restored and brick archways were tediously uncovered by the ONE Group team who chipped back layers of paint to reveal and protect their original splendour.

Specialized’s design pushed the boundaries of what is the norm by integrating a multitude of components to create a world-class store, servicing customers from all levels in the cycling fraternity. Children’s bikes are positioned in large colourful boxes and installed on angles in the archways to draw the eyes up the grand staircase. Upstairs the Specialized branded Body Geometry Fit studio utilises the space available to fit riders using a specific and tailored program renowned in cycling circles.

Framed photographs of shop owner Mark Newton working with the famous and infamous in the cycling world are laid around the store creating intriguing features that draw you into the different areas of the premises. Timber finishes, leafy pot plants and neatly presented merchandise make for an inviting and comfortable space regardless of your cycling experience level.

The Service Centre on the ground level is positioned behind a glazed window and doors, a transparency rarely found in bicycle stores, that allows riders to view the mechanics at work; a spectacle usually reserved for hidden basements or a workshop ‘out the back’.

The Specialized brand colour, red, is cleverly used throughout, highlighting the exceptional or more exclusive features such as the ‘S-Works range’; the pinnacle of the Specialized brand. This is a characteristic of the Specialized retail experience in all concept stores across the globe.

David Votava, retail services manager, wanted the store to be unique to its location and country, but also hint at the global connection to the brand.

“We want every rider to be able to experience the products we have at Specialized because we love bikes and love riding and want to share that passion with our customers – we place our product in a retail space to provide an immediacy and tactility unavailable via the internet,” he said.