Tech-led Official All Blacks store opens as Rugby World Cup kicks off

The Rugby World Cup kicked off on Friday, and to coincide with the tournament getting under way a new Official All Blacks store has opened at Christchurch Airport, New Zealand.

The shop – which follows the opening of the first store of this nature in Auckland last year – features several interactive elements and digitally-enabled touchpoints to entertain visitors.

Located in the centre of the main Landside Terminal, the 120 sq m store has been opened by Lagardère Travel Retail and stocks licensed merchandise, such as apparel, official New Zealand jerseys, caps, balls, beanies and gifts.

From a design perspective, there are two LED-illuminated archway entrances, an experiential area featuring a Haka 360 experience, and screens showing highlights of iconic All Blacks’ moments – all of which has been placed in a space inspired by a traditional rugby locker room.

Christchurch Airport’s chief aeronautical and commercial officer, Justin Watson, said: “The store offers new experiences, new merchandise and new ways to support the All Blacks.”

New Zealand Rugby chief commercial officer, Richard Thomas, talked up the association’s move into retail, saying. “We ventured into the retail sector in 2018 with the launch of the first Official All Blacks Store in a move to diversify our income streams – and it’s been well received.”

In time, the store will host in-store appearances from the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby players.

Lagardère Travel Retail’s local New Zealand design partner Taylors, and construction team, The Accent Group, were involved in the store fit out.

The All Blacks opened their Rugby World Cup campaign with a 23-13 win over South Africa on Saturday.