U.K. department store Selfridges is amping up the store experience with what it's calling "the world's first fully-functioning in-store boxing gym," which opened at its Oxford Street location in London on Feb. 1, slated to run for a month.
The "boutique" boxing gym iBXR London, which launched a year ago under boxing champ Anthony Joshua and a group of investment partners including Mark Ronson and boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, is running the space, according to a company press release.
The effort is part of Selfridges' "Radical Luxury" campaign, a series of projects designed to explore what luxury is today. The gym is part of Lamyland, the first iteration of the campaign and the brainchild of designer and artist Michèle Lamy, (and wife of designer Rick Owens, who was also commissioned by Selfridges for the campaign).
No doubt Selfridges is hoping to beat rivals to the punch when it comes to creating a destination beyond shopping. U.K. retailers, like others abroad, are ahead of most U.S. retailers and malls when it comes to out-of-the-box (and into the boxing ring) thinking.
"Destination" is one of the ways retailers are re-imagining malls, along with tech centers, mixed-used residential centers and value centers, according to a new report from global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. Destination retail entails providing a "compelling social experience" like an indoor ski slope, roller coaster, concert space or museum, according to Michael Brown, a partner in A.T. Kearney's consumer products and retail practice, and an author of the report.
Selfridges' boxing gym fits the bill. The 3,500 square foot space on the lower ground floor offers 20 heavy water-loaded rubber punching bags, a bespoke boxing ring, and 20 strength and conditioning stations, each featuring a training mat, dumbbells, a kettle bell and a choice of weight plates, according to the release. Gloves and hand slips are provided for each session and a special playlist with a mix of hip hop, rap and house tracks accompany certain sections of the workouts.
The boxing gym at Selfridges offers 55-minute group boxing classes as well as private sessions.