AW Lab, part of the Bata group, has opened its second flagship store in Milan. The store is located at via Torino 22, in the city center. The prestigious location, in a popular shopping area, connects piazza del Duomo with Corso di Porta Ticinese and the picturesque Navigli district, full of canals. The other Milanese shop of AW lab is located at Corso Buenos Aires 31, also in the city center. The new flagship in Via Torino has a total surface of 400 square meter on two floors, and 14 shop windows. The retail concept, similarly to the other stores of the banner, mixes lots of colors with a minimal style. The project for the store has been developed in-house.
AW Lab was formerly known as Athletes World. The banner was rebranded as AW Lab in 2012, although shops still exist under both names. “AW Lab” is meant to describe the shop as true laboratory or “Urban Style Refresher,” as the brand presents itself. AW Lab offers an extended collection of sneakers of the most famous sports brands and an assortment of exclusive editions made in collaboration with them. The banner also sells a collection of clothing and accessories of the main sportswear brands as well as a private apparel label called BeAW. Sports footwear accounts for 80 percent of the business, while clothing and accessories account for the remaining 20 percent. AW lab states it mainly targets young people of both sexes and particularly students from high school to university who are attracted to a sporty/urban style and sensitive to fashion trends.
AW Lab, like Bata, is represented in Italy by Compar SpA, which exclusively supplies the goods to AW's franchisees. Shops offer four collections a year – in January, July, March and October. The locations proposed by franchisees must include, among other features, a sales area of at least 60 square meters or 90 square meters for shopping malls, a four-meter shop window, minimum estimated revenues of €500,000, and they must be positioned in old towns or shopping centers with a catchment area with a minimum of 50,000 inhabitants.
In Italy the Bata group has 280 stores of which 87 under the AW Lab/Athletes World banner, and more than 150 franchised businesses, 75 of which are AW Lab/Athletes World.