On Tuesday (Aug. 4), MediaPost/Marketing Daily's Sarah Mahoney wrote about Nike's redesigned Seattle store (pictured above).
"The company says it has redone the store to showcase its 'innovative products and personalized services' — the kinds of high-touch attention only physical stores can provide," she wrote. "It includes a treadmill in the shoe department for run-gait analysis, for example, sports-bra fit experts, pant-hemming and personal style consultations.
Nike, a leader in creating a branded, localized in-store experience, now turns its attention to high-tech product customization and social enablement.
"It’s also part social club, with weekly three and five-mile beach runs (complete with water taxi service.) And it’s a dedicated e-commerce waypoint, enabling in-store and Nike.com purchases through a single mobile transaction."
We've previously blogged about the value of stores offering a) unique product expertise and services in-store, and b) social and community building groups and workshops. Nike has long been a leader in these types of "in-store brand experiences"; the company certainly has an enviable budget for cutting-edge treadmill running form analysis and free water taxi rides for running clubs.
A large neon 'Just Do It' sign shows a multitude of Seattle sports symbols along with local iconography.
Another advantage to selling sports apparel is being able to localize the merchandise, particularly because Nike stores are located in high-traffic, tourist-heavy areas. The new Seattle store is no exception, displaying a wide variety of Seattle Seahawks and University of Washington Huskies paraphernalia front and center (see above photo).
"The new store, which also includes a custom neon-sculpture (shown below) celebrating the city’s sports symbols, follows other high-profile openings in recent months, including three 'brand experience' stores just for women, and an extensive remodel of its Santa Monica, Cal. store to emphasize offerings for women and the Nike+ community," Mahoney wrote. "Last month, it also tweaked its factory store concept, opening its first-ever retail destination in a college town, less than a mile from the University of Alabama."