Beyond 2012 - an integrated Design Story

Retail stores
A product design story

“We elevated in-venue merchandising above the standards seen at previous Games. Design played a large and lasting part in all aspects of the stores.”

James Harvey-Smith,
Senior Interior Designer

Tell us about the early design brief

To design and deliver the in-venue retail merchandise offer (store design, graphics and project management) for over 110 retail units. This included the London 2012 Megastore, four superstores in the Olympic Park and Athletes’ Village, various kiosks at venues across the country and also the London 2012 Shop at Hyde Park (the UK’s largest pop-up shop to date).

What inspired your design concept?

Our designs reflected our desire to create an immersive experiential store environment in line with the 2012 brand and ethos: to be exciting, inspiring and inclusive.

What challenges did you face along the way?

Designing a store environment that was adaptable and scalable, which would work as well in a 25sqm kiosk as it did in the 4,000sqm Megastore, was a big challenge. The sheer numbers of visitors through the stores every day also presented a challenge (the Megastore alone had a footfall of 65,000 people per day for the duration of the Games). The design and logistical planning of the store allowed for localised storage to enable easy replenishment during busy periods, while queue times were kept to a minimum with customers directed through the store to 60 tills.

Did you know…

  • The Olympic Park retail locations traded for 25 days
  • The London 2012 shop at Hyde Park was the largest pop-up store in the UK to date at 12,500sqft
  • There were 110 retail locations, with 100,000sqft of retail
  • Ninety per cent of all fixture and fittings were recycled
  • There were 65,000 visitors per day in the megastore alone, where 8,000 T-shirts a day were sold

What about specific design challenges?

All elements of the store design and graphics were governed by the London 2012 sustainability requirements – 90% of the store installation needed to be recyclable. All in-store graphics were also required to reflect the relevant branding for both the Olympics and the Paralympic Games, culminating in over 1,500 pieces of artwork.

How did it feel to be involved in such an important British project?

To be involved in such a successful global project was both a privilege and a challenge. It was a fantastic experience that will stay with our team for many years to come.

What would you highlight as the best features or lasting benefits of your design work?

The official merchandise stores allowed a great many people to get involved across the country, build lasting memories, and take a part of the London 2012 Games home with them.

What are you most proud of regarding your work?

As a team we are proud that we elevated in-venue merchandising above the standards seen at previous Games. Design played a large and lasting part in all aspects of the stores.


Company name

In-venue retail environments


Project team

James Harvey-Smith
Senior Interior Designer

Karen Beach
Senior Graphic Designer

John Armitage
Project Management

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