Under Armour stores in SA reopened on 7 May and are being put through stringent tests and have protocols in place to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 and ensure the safety of customers and staff.
But behind the scenes, Apollo Brands, the official distributor of Under Armour in SA and operator of the brand's stores in the country, has also been adapting its offering for the new era of retail emerging due to the pandemic.
The company recently announced the rollout of four new methods of retail and customer interaction.
1. Virtual shopping: Available to consumers wishing to take a virtual walk through the store with a tech specialist as a personal shopper.
2. Private store bookings: For customers who would like to book out a store for a private shopping experience, between 9am-10am, 7 days a week.
3. Driveway ninjas: An at-home service that allows consumers to book a private shopping session in the comfort of their own space. During the booking process, a tech specialist will be made available to meet you in your considered safe space. Pre-requirements will be shared with the UA ninja and up to 25 items (10 shoes and 15 garments) will be brought to you for consideration of purchase.
4. Private corporate shopping experiences: In an ode to mobile libraries of old, Under Armour will bring a mobile store to corporates for a limited period. This option will allow a 1-day set up at the corporate residence including a tech specialist on-site to advise on key Run or Train looks.
These new services can be booked via the UA Bookings platform.
Apollo Brands' revamped customer offering is driven by five core values that it deems pivotal to the retail experience during a crisis.
“The areas we’ve taken into consideration are amalgamations of staff feedback and consumer patterns, we’ve needed to look inside our own homes and ask, what would we want for our families,” explains Gareth Kemp, managing director of Apollo Brands.
“From June 2020 we will be fully operational within the behaviour protocol areas of the five C’s in new retail:
Consideration: Before any action is taken, we will ask 'Is this considerate to all consumers' needs as well as to their fears and concerns around contracting and spreading of the Covid-19 virus.'
Conservative: We will respect space and will not push boundaries in any communication or behaviour.
Cautious: We will at all times actively practise and over-communicate full safety protocol.
Convenience: We will offer convenience and next-level service in terms of shopping methods, payment methods and delivery methods.
Community: We will at all times look to support our community, from a customer health, staff and societal point of view.”
Kemp adds, “How brands behave in a time of crisis will determine their customer affinity for years to come. Now is the time to think beyond the bottom line and share a partnership with society that may not have once existed."