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MAAP LaB Amsterdam: A new concept store in a vibrant city

From a pop-up shop in Adelaide to a fixed location in a vibrant, cycling-friendly city like Amsterdam. MAAP has recently opened the doors to their first retail concept store in Europe, representing one of their key milestones in 2024, along with exciting partnerships and upcoming events.

It is fair to say that MAAP is one of the leading brands within the cycling apparel industry, not only for the reputation of their products but for the community they have been fostering since the Melbourne-based brand was founded in 2014. MAAP was already present in European stores through a curated selection of retail partners, but since this March they have their own space in the Dutch capital.

A retail journey

The brick-and-mortar strategy of MAAP started back in 2018, during the Tour Down Under. In order to make the most of the only WorldTour stage race happening in Australia, MAAP opened a temporary pop-up shop with their new summer collection on display, multiple group rides to join, and a daily happy hour to enjoy while the race lasted.

After a few years following the same approach, they decided to go one step beyond, and in July 2022 they unveiled their first flagship concept store in Collingwood, Melbourne. It was conceived as the perfect space for anyone to meet and share their love of sport, fashion, art, and of course, cycling apparel.

Now, in March 2024, they have opened a MAAP LaB in Amsterdam, representing their first store in Europe. Given its long links with and love of cycling, together with the creative culture of its inhabitants, the chosen city and MAAP combine seamlessly to provide locals and cyclists from neighboring regions with a new space to connect.

The ‘LaB’ concept stands for ‘Life around Bikes’, so you can imagine that it is more than a standard retail store. Good coffee is a given for any cycling-related retail space, and we could check firsthand that their flat whites are on point. Weekly group rides will start from the LaB, and the store will also host events with special guests.

This move is not cutting their relationship with stores like Maats in Utrecht or Velodrom in Barcelona, but facilitating a closer partnership instead. MAAP is very much taking those stores still into account for their future plans, and they will be hosting organized group rides and talks.

Opening week

Last week they organized several events to introduce the new concept store to media outlets and any individual interested in the brand. We only had to walk for 10 minutes from the train station to arrive at the location, Reestraat 9. There, the local staff and MAAP representatives welcomed and guided us along.

The interior is similar to the MAAP LaB in Melbourne, but the characteristic long but narrow shape of the buildings in Amsterdam forced designers to rethink the floor plan in order to make the most of the space. We liked the aesthetics of the white tiles on the floor and counter contrasted by the wooden look of the walls and the steel shelves.

Displayed there we found their new road collection and the kits that the Lifeplus-Wahoo women’s team are rocking this year. The partnership with the team is another of the recent news, and both Ian and Hamish, Global and European marketing managers respectively, explained to us why a collaboration with this particular team makes more sense for MAAP than stepping in the men’s WorldTeam category. They have big plans for the team including innovative partnership activations and a video series.

On that same day, we went on a city tour to know more about why the Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular, was chosen for the first MAAP LaB in Europe. We are all aware of the cycling culture of the country, so if you factor in the fact that the Tour de France Femmes starts this year down the road, Amsterdam is clearly an attractive city for any cycling business. We could also check firsthand how relevant fashion and aesthetics are, with countless design shops populating the streets along the canals.

The opening party took place on Thursday evening. The turnout was massive and it reflected the excitement of the local cycling community. Over the following days, several rides were organized in which the MAAP ambassadors of the region that were in the city for the occasion had the chance to meet each other and discover the surroundings of Amsterdam.