Experiential retail moves from the high streets to high altitudes with The North Face’s store at the Genting Secret Garden ski resort. Located in the mountains of Chongli county, about an hour’s train ride from Beijing, the 175-sq-m space and its various functions are designed to actively engage and connect with the outdoor gear brand’s slope-hopping community.

The designers at Coordination Asia translated The North Face’s slogan ‘Never Stop Exploring’ into a store they describe as a ‘basecamp’. The idea is that exploration begins here, in the place where The North Face’s clients prepare for their outdoor adventures.

Using a strategy being employed by retailers to counter the swing towards online shopping, the basecamp is a destination rather than a thoroughfare, where visitors can educate themselves through live events such as talks by athletes and film screenings. To accommodate these various types of events, the interior is adaptable: a drop-down screen can be used for presentations and talks, while movable benches can toggle between display platforms and auditorium seating as needed.

Further fostering the sense of community is the ‘warm up lounge’, a hospitality zone serving hot drinks. Consumers can gather around the glowing red LEDs that emulate burning embers for a stripped-back take on après-ski.