The van that opened up a new retail strategy

Client: Rapha
Campaign: Rapha Cycle Club

Challenge

We helped Rapha build a loyal following through the brand idea of ‘the glory and suffering of road racing’ and a retro aesthetic from the great past of Continental Road Racing. The challenge was to broaden the brand’s appeal and make it famous beyond ‘the lycra set’.

Insight

There is a whole lifestyle and sub culture that surrounds European cycling that if more people knew about, they’d fall in love with.

Idea

As an online business, Rapha had a lot of fans but no physical high street presence. We thought that if people could experience the brand’s world for real they’d feel even more intoxicated by it. We created the ‘Rapha Cycle Club’ – a pop-up store, cafe, cinema, gallery space and fan hub that launched in Clerkenwell, London and The Bowery in NYC around the Tour de France and Giro D’Italia. The space was designed to reward existing fans and give them an experience they’d want to share with their friends and personal networks.

Results

Over the 3 months the clubs were opened they were visited by an estimated 30,000 people. Rapha sold an incremental 35% of goods to new customers and acquired an additional 12,000 new customers on its database. The Clubs were written about on all the cycling websites but also fashion and design websites and blogs. The pop-up clubs were subsequently rolled out for three month lets in San Francisco, Tokyo and Majorca.
The true measure of their success lies is the fact that today there are 11 permanent Rapha Cycle Clubs around the world, contributing more than £8m in annual revenue.

The coolest retail idea in the world

– Monocle