A new shop will open its doors in Camana Bay this month and it is the first of its kind for the Cayman Islands.Sportista will fuse technology, lights, images and colours to offer customers a chance to
buy an experience in addition to high-quality yet affordable footwear, sports apparel and accessories.
The owners of Sportista are the Montoya family, who also own Futbolista World, a sports shop located in George Town. Emelina Montoya says the focus of their new store will be on sporting activities like running, gym and fitness training; brands include Nike, Adidas, Asics, New Balance and Under Armour. The shop will also carry high-end football products not currently sold at Futbolista World.
In the last few years there has been a renaissance in experiential retail marketing globally, and Emelina is excited about bringing the concept to the Cayman Islands.
“Experiential retailing is the idea that a retailer should do more than just sell and customers should do more than just buy,” she says.
Recent studies indicate that customers are driven today not by a passion to acquire more things, but by a deep desire for more experiences. Experienced-focused retail not only brings more people through the door, but also encourages awareness and interest in the products carried.
Nike and Adidas are two sports brands that have led the way in this regard, and to great success. In 2016, Nike opened a mega-store in New York that features an indoor basketball court, a treadmill set in front of monitors that simulate runs in different locations and a small football enclosure, in addition to the many Nike products for sale. Not long after, Adidas opened a giant store in Manhattan that offers locker rooms that double as dressing rooms, and a patch of turf for customers to test out shoes and other products. Customised products are also offered in both shops for a more personal connection to the brands.
At Sportista, lighting and colour will be used in unique ways, such as through large imagery and text, which will help illuminate products and elements of the store and bring them to life. IPads will also be on hand to create an interactive platform for customers and a moving LCD screen will help draw customers to particular products.
“Our staff will ensure shopping at Sportista will be an experience that is unique and in line with our vision of creating a place where people can take their fun seriously,” says Emelina.
The store aims to include opportunities for customers to learn more about products and sport-related services. “We will be partnering with like-minded individuals, organisations and businesses within and outside of Camana Bay who share our vision and values,” she says.
Sportista will serve the sporting activities that happen on Grand Cayman throughout the year, such as walk/runs, triathlons and marathons. It will also cater to the many football leagues, both school- and recreational-based.
“Running and football are both very popular sports in Cayman,” says Emelina. With the World Cup football tournament starting on June 16, football fans can rejoice as
the store will carry popular team jerseys and other apparel.
“The World Cup is held every four years and is the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world,” Emelina says. “We are a family who enjoys the beautiful game of football and are ready for the games to begin.”
Sportista will open on the Crescent next to The King’s Head pub in the space most recently occupied by the Camana Bay Visitor Centre.
“The experiential concept is new to the island and as such deserves to find its home in a location equally vibrant and exciting as the products and services to be offered,” Emelina says.