Creating a Buzz | St James's London


Creating a Buzz

St James's newcomer Realbuzz is more than just a hi-tech fitness retailer, as Paul Eaton tells us

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How did it all begin?

The Realbuzz Group was founded in 2000 by our Chairman, Tim Rogers, who has completed over 70 marathons and is a former world record holder for running the fastest time for an official marathon on all seven continents. He started with health and fitness website, and built up a vibrant community of people from all walks of life with one thing in common - a passion for challenging themselves to achieve new goals, no matter what their ability level.

We've now partnered with London Marathon Events Ltd for over 15 years, creating the websites and online entry systems for all their races. Our team is closely involved with their charity programme too, which holds the record for the biggest single day fundraising event in the world. This has led to us providing online platforms and charity fundraising at more of the world's biggest marathons, triathlons and obstacle events.

In 2016 we took our first steps into retail both on the high street and online. Our customers join an ecosystem which helps them train better, find new challenges, and buy the right clothing, footwear and accessories to achieve those goals.

Why is it important to be on Regent Street St James's?

We wanted an iconic location that would take your breath away, both in terms of the store itself, and the area around it. It's safe to say we found that here. Retailing in such a prestigious area is key to our relationships with customers and our brand partners. People are always blown away when they use our in-store treadmills and look out over the world famous giant screens of Piccadilly Circus.

The fitness industry is booming, so what makes Realbuzz different?

Traditional running and fitness retailers can feel intimidating and elitist, especially for beginners. A visit to Realbuzz aims to be a more approachable, enjoyable experience. There's a sense of theatre to the store, with themed zones featuring information cards, posters and interesting objects to educate customers on everything from nutrition to training. Whether they've just joined the gym and want some beginner kit, or they need footwear for their latest ultramarathon, our aim is that every customer leaves feeling special.

What tips would you give someone kitting themselves out for autumn?

This season there are two main considerations to bear in mind when training outdoors - staying safe and staying warm. As the nights draw in, it's important to be seen by road users and pedestrians, but this doesn't mean you need head-to-toe luminescent neon clothing. We stock a range of kit featuring more subtle reflective panels and prints that will still provide more than enough visibility. If you're training off-road with limited lighting, consider a head torch.

Temperatures can vary greatly in autumn, so plan your clothing in layers. Always start with a compression base layer, which have come on leaps and bounds in recent years. You'll find that they're now extremely thin and comfortable, whilst still offering moisture-wicking materials. You can then add extra layers if its cold, or a waterproof jacket if it might rain. Remember, it's always better to remove layers mid-session because you're too hot, than to get cold with extra layers sitting in a drawer at home.