Innovation That Matters

In-store wave riding

Work & Lifestyle

Sporting goods retailers that cater to divers, bicyclists and skiers strive to build their customer base into a community, frequently organizing outings, classes and gear clinics. The events cement long-term customer relationships and the experiences help those customers make the most of their purchases. (See our sister-site’s briefing on status skills for more examples of helping customers master skills.) A Florida extreme sports store called Adrenalina has gone to the next level by bringing the excitement of its surfing products right into its shopping mall space. Enter the FlowRider: an in-store surfing simulator that creates an artificial wave using highly-pressurized water. Beginners and experts alike get to try out wakeboards (mini surfboards) right in the store. As they balance on boards held aloft by an endless barrage of water, other customers in the store can watch their antics from behind floor-to-ceiling windows. FlowRiders can be found in water parks and even on cruise ships. But Adrenalina is the first retailer to install them, creating a powerful attention-grabbing attraction at its Miami and Orlando stores. Surfers pay USD 20 for a half-hour session, and Adrenalina generates repeat visits through club memberships that let boarders use the facility 6–12 times per month. Combined with a wide range of surf gear, the store lets consumers experience the surfing lifestyle, trying before they buy. Adrenalina aims to expand the concept across the US. One to replicate in other countries or for other sports? Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



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