Sport Chalet Unveils Next-Gen Urban Concept Store
Joshua Breeden in Los Angeles, Retail, Retail

Image © Ryan Gobuty/Gensler

Take an iconic specialty sporting goods retailer. Add the enticing opportunity to reinvigorate their store design and customer experience. Combine the talents of Gensler’s retail and brand design studios. Finally throw in the priceless opportunity to unveil the concept at the epicenter of Downtown Los Angeles.

The result? This month’s grand opening of Sport Chalet’s first urban store concept at FIGat7th, the shopping and dining destination also designed by Gensler.

Founded in 1959, Sport Chalet operates 53 stores across Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah in addition to the online store at With more than 50 specialty services for sports enthusiasts, everyone who lives, works and plays in Downtown LA now has a go-to destination to discover something new or to embrace an active lifestyle. From cycling to scuba diving, hiking to snowboarding, Sport Chalet has it covered with 52 weeks of consecutive in-store clinics and classes for all experience levels.

Unlike the existing Sport Chalet one-stop-shop format encompassing 42,000 square feet, the new 27,000 square feet urban store carries targeted sporting equipment, including cycling, training, scuba and running gear. In addition, consumers can order all of Sport Chalet’s company-wide product offerings through iPad systems located throughout the store.

Image © Ryan Gobuty/Gensler

The design team at Gensler worked hand in hand with Sport Chalet to reinvigorate the brand’s retail identity. Bringing to life Sport Chalet personnel’s expert positioning and knowledge was the primary goal With this in mind, Gensler created the Expert Center, a learning and information hub at heart of the store, to facilitate customer interaction with in-store experts on any topic ranging from bike repair to the best surfing spots in the area.

Additionally, the visual character of the store has evolved via an innovative, streamlined material palette. Designed to highlight the unique urban location of the store by contrasting the natural warmth of wood against blackened steel, concrete and glass, it embodies the clean lines and modern aesthetic of industrial downtown Los Angeles.

In tandem with the interior design, the introduction of a new, streamlined iconographic system simplifies navigation and wayfinding. By reducing visual clutter, the store design and Sport Chalet’s extensive array of sporting gear become the focus of the space.

Next time you’re in Downtown LA make a point to check it out. As Sport Chalet’s vision of the future, the concept store at FIGat 7th represents a new retail experience: a guided journey into the adventure of your choosing.

Image © Ryan Gobuty/Gensler

Joshua Breeden is an architect and LEED accredited professional based in Gensler’s Retail Studio in Los Angeles. With more than 14 years of experience, Josh balances design and technical expertise, working to ensure that the creative and intellectual premises of the design are carried forward through finished construction. Contact him at
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