During Nike’s quarterly earnings call last month, CEO Mark Parker gave a preview of its future of omnichannel retail vision:
“We continue to explore the physical and digital intersection through our new NIKE app at retail, which is beginning to scale to multiple stores. Through Smart Retail, we can aggregate consumer buying patterns to better inform localized preferences and turn those into new growth opportunities.
For example, next month, we’re opening a new retail concept in LA called NIKE Live. It’s a small format, data-driven store with its assortment influenced by what consumers are buying from surrounding zip codes. We see great potential on this approach, and you’ll see a lot more of it across our key cities.”
Nike LIVE is now live, with the hybrid digital/brick-and-mortar store opening its doors in Los Angeles, where it’s branded as Nike by Melrose in a nod to its location on Melrose Avenue in west LA. It’s opening at a pivotal time for the brand, which has been aggressively expanding its online offerings and membership benefits to better connect with customers. It also shows how Nike keeps advancing its future of retail vision, such as its Community Store local concept, its Nike By You Studio in New York and its Unlaced boutique.
Nike LIVE is raising the bar for omnichannel digital/physical hybrid retail experiences, in keeping with last June’s announcement of its “Triple Double” Consumer Direct Offense—a strategy to accelerate innovation and product innovation, while moving even closer to the customer in key cities. Those efforts that have been paying off, as its latest earnings report, and now this first Nike LIVE concept store opening, attest.
The new 4,557-sq.-ft, single-level, cross-category Nike store is powered by the insights and engagement of thousands of NikePlus members across five zip codes in Los Angeles. The data-driven and curated store is a uniquely curated home for NikePlus Members and the style, sport and speed-obsessed consumers of the city, who can now head to Melrose to check out the store’s sneaker bar and other innovative features.
“Nike Live stores are specifically designed to be a service hub for local NikePlus members,” said Heidi O’Neill, President, NikeDirect. “We’re thrilled to be opening up Nike by Melrose and bringing the best of Nike products and offerings selected for this community. As well as being the first Nike Live destination, we will also test services that can then roll out to other Nike stores, combining digital features with a unique physical environment to create the future of Nike retail.”
The Nike Live concept was created in support of Nike’s efforts to unite digital and physical shopping experiences for its consumers, and to further personalize the NikePlus Member in-store journey. The location and the product assortment of Nike by Melrose was selected using insights gained from NikePlus member activity and buying patterns across Nike’s suite of digital touchpoints: Nike.com, the Nike App, the NTC, NRC and SNKRS apps.
Nike by Melrose features a number of digitally-led, premium service offerings, designed to match the needs of neighborhood consumers. When walking in the store, shoppers can make a first stop for service at the Nike Sneaker Bar. There they can talk with a Nike Expert about the lifestyle and performance footwear available, request to try-on an item on the spot, purchase and go. This is the fastest shoe buying experience Nike offers.
As a NikePlus Member, shoppers also have access to the NikePlus Unlock Box where they can scan their Member pass every two weeks for unique Nike products and goods. They can also use Swoosh Text, an SMS messaging system that seamlessly connects them to the Nike by Melrose store team through the Nike App. Curb Services give NikePlus Members the ability to contact the store ahead of time using Swoosh Text and return or exchange goods curbside.
The Nike by Melrose store also uses Nike’s New Nike App at Retail service, allowing NikePlus Members to reserve product to in-store Digital Lockers, scan product barcodes to learn more (i.e. product availability in nearby stores or online, and available colorways) and access new features and content in their Nike App homepage.
Nike Express Sessions at Nike by Melrose offer bookable appointments for NikePlus Members through the Nike App. The sessions are designed to provide one-to-one personal service to consumers within thirty minutes and will largely be hosted in the Dynamic Fit Zone. This area is outfitted with a lounge, fitting room, space for alterations on pants and tights, bra fittings, and Nike Trial Zone for trying out shoes on the in-store treadmill.
The staff of Experts and Athletes (getting pumped up on opening day, below) are clearly passionate, too.
Nike by Melrose will also serve up an even product assortment for men and women informed by local and Nike.com favorites. Everyday items that local NikePlus Members love (like the Men’s Tech Fleece Jogger or the Women’s Classic Swoosh Sports Bra) will be available alongside a bi-weekly delivery of fresh new arrivals in a first for Nike. The assortment will also include a select level of city-exclusive merchandise as well as curated seasonal picks from Nike collections.
The Nike by Melrose exterior mural also has ties to Los Angeles as it was designed by artist and illustrator Bijou Karman, an LA native whose work reflects the unique mix of nostalgia and flora that comes along with the California landscape. With inspiration from the diversity of Angelenos and the style of the neighborhood, the Nike by Melrose store mural is a reimagined walk through a typical day in LA. The mural, titled “Sunsets on Melrose,” showcases these characters shopping, taking part in sport, and experiencing local offerings in one incredible scene, all against the backdrop of a classic LA sunset.
Nike By Melrose is here for you.
— Nike Los Angeles (@NikeLA) July 12, 2018
More details on the Nike by Melrose service and offerings:
Nike Sneaker Bar: The primary destination in the store, the Nike Sneaker Bar (below) offers a unique and fast shoe buying experience, with a mix of style-minded and performance footwear available. Once arriving at the centrally located Nike Sneaker Bar, consumers are greeted by a store athlete with elevated footwear training. The consumer can get any footwear questions answered on-the-spot, request their favorite shoe(s) and then after quickly receiving the pair, can try on and checkout.
Nike App at Retail is the Member’s ultimate shopping companion, bringing digitally led experiences to physical retail all through the Nike App. Several of the features of Nike App at Retail will be available at Nike Live.
Reserve: Using the Nike App, Members can reserve product to be held for them at the store. Consumers can shop the product they want in the Nike App and then complete their purchase with an in-store athlete.
Retail Home: When entering Nike Live, Members will gain access to an array of new features and content via their Nike App homepage.
Nike Scan: Members can scan any product barcode from the app to pull up online and store inventory, and to learn more about the product.
NikePlus Member Unlocks are delivered through the Nike App to reward the best of Nike product, to deliver immersive brand experiences, to award activity achievements (i.e. through NRC or NTC) and to share partner rewards with our Members. Member Unlocks can be given directly from a store athlete at Nike Live when serving a shopper. Select Member Unlocks may also be delivered to consumers outside of Nike by Melrose, which they can redeem in-store with an athlete.
Nike Express Sessions: An elevated one-to-one service journey for NikePlus Members, bookable through the Nike app and designed to meet the needs of the athlete in sport, fitness and style. Store athletes guiding these sessions will have a distinct knowledge of Nike products, gear, styling, NikePlus Member benefits and Nike’s suite of apps to personally serve consumers.
If a product isn’t available in-store, they will be able to pull product from other stores in the marketplace. Nike Express Sessions at Nike Live are designed for speed and efficiency, delivering one-to-one service to consumers in thirty minutes or less. Members are welcome to book beyond thirty minutes if they wish to extend their service experience.
Curb Services: An opportunity for consumers to purchase, return and/or exchange via curbside pick-up. If a consumer wants to exchange an item, they can use Swoosh Text to message the store and make sure they have their size. The member texts the athlete when they’re close and the athlete comes out of the store to return/exchange the product or complete a purchase transaction.
Swoosh Text: Consumers can enjoy a two-way conversation through SMS messaging with a ‘store athlete,’ enabling faster, better and more personalized service.
NikePlus Unlock Box: A unique in-store Membership benefit where every two weeks a Member can redeem Unlocks using their Member pass at an innovative, digital vending machine to receive unique product/offerings.
Dynamic Fit Zone: To allow Experts to further connect with consumers, sessions at Nike Live can take place in the Dynamic Fit Zone (above) outfitted with a lounge, rooms for styling and a Nike Trial Zone (with treadmill) to try out product in-store. Additional services like bra fitting and alterations for Nike tights and pants will also be available in this space.
Digital Lockers: Nike Live will be equipped with smart lockers members can open with their NikePlus member pass. These lockers will serve as a place where members can easily pick up products they’ve reserved via the Nike App or through Swoosh text.
See more in the video below: