Business music provider Perfect Octave has partnered with retail ecosystem provider Aura Futures to deliver a unified and integrated audio-visual solution in the heart of Soho, London for leading cycling clothing retailer Rapha.
Bucking retail trends, Rapha recently invested in the expansion of its flagship store located a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus, to deliver the best of the brand to the capital’s cycling community. Now almost twice the size of the original store and offering a premium experience for men and women, Rapha’s first UK Clubhouse, originally opened in 2012, features a larger product range, personal shopping and upgraded fitting rooms. A new larger café area welcomes its riding community for a calendar of events and rides, with rides out every day of the week.
The decision to expand is a renewed commitment to the cyclists of London. Simon Mottram, Rapha Founder and CEO, explained, “While the news recently has been all about shops closing I’m really excited that Rapha is bucking the trend and expanding our London Clubhouse. Rapha was launched in London in 2004 and the Clubhouse in Soho was one of our first physical spaces, so it’s always been special for us. For many of our customers buying Rapha products is just part of their relationship with us.
“Rapha Clubhouses exist for members to find the products they want but also to help them get closer to the cycling community and closer to the sport itself. So it’s great that we will now have more space to host exhibitions and events and a better appointed cafe for London’s cyclists to enjoy, along with room to show our entire product range.”
For the audio and music systems Aura Futures partnered with specialist business music provider Perfect Octave to deliver the audio soundtrack to enhance live events, experiences and background music occurring in-house at Rapha.
The new audio system deployed includes a four-zone audio mixer from Cloud Electronics to which six separate audio sources including a Denon media player, Apple TV, a Mac Mini, digital signage audio from the video wall, a laptop and the music player from Perfect Octave are connected. The audio from each input can be routed to one, all or any of the audio zones in the Clubhouse using a number of Cloud RSL-6 remote volume/source selection controls located strategically in the Clubhouse.
A blend of ceiling, pendant and wall loudspeakers, also manufactured by Cloud Electronics, are installed in both retail zones, the cafe area, changing rooms and WC’s. Power to the loudspeakers is provided by a Cloud CA4250 amplifier delivering up to 1kw of sound across four zones. A Shure GLXD24R radio microphone system with handheld SM58 wireless microphone is available for live presentations in any of the audio zones.
“The team at Aura Futures and Perfect Octave understood the requirements exactly for Clubhouse, providing us with the ability to play out the soundtrack from separate live events in different areas at the same time. This means we can show different live races on the screens throughout the Clubhouse or video wall, accompanied with the right audio track”, comments Justin Maynard, IT Retail Development Manager for Rapha.
“We also aim to host live events and presentations in-store, often at the same time. Switching on a microphone on our new system in each zone automatically lowers the music or race event so presenters can be heard immediately and with minimum fuss.”
Justin adds, “Perfect Octave also ingested our Spotify music playlists into our new music system to allow us to play our music seamlessly and legally in-store. It also allows us to add tracks and playlists on-the-fly as needed, which keeps the music in-store revitalised.”
It is hoped that as restrictions are eased, the Clubhouse will act as the ultimate Rapha experience and everything the brand has to offer: a community hub and place to meet like-minded people, a trusted destination to get advice for or to find inspiration in stories past and present, or the gateway to discovering new roads.
Peter Sheppard, Technical Director for Perfect Octave, explains, “We are delighted to work in tandem with Aura Futures on this exciting project for Rapha. The system installed at Rapha allows the in-store team to adapt to live events, on-screen events and in-store presentations, almost instantaneously as they need to, to enhance customer and member experiences.”