Nike’s New Soho Store Is Techno-Charged And Here’s How It’s Changing Retail Design
Nike’s new location and store aims to revolutionize the in-store experience.
Nike just did it. Again. Whether you want to shoot hoops in your new kicks or take a virtual run around Central Park, Nike’s new location champions you to just do it. Amidst much fanfare and controversy, the active wear giant opened a five-story-55,000-square-foot space in Soho at 529 Broadway packed with technology and innovation. To complement Nike’s flagship store downtown at 21 Mercer, their Soho store will have everything from 3D decorations to a Kinect-powered basketball court and interactive customization stations, taking retail design into the future.
There is also client interface technology like the Apple Pay support and massive touchscreens all around the store to help you find a sales associate or purchase products on the spot. The entrance level is an open space assigned to Nike’s constant interaction with customers with a run club. The second floor is dedicated to Nike’s sportswear for men and women with presently, its special holiday series called 12 soles.
There’s a huge emphasis on customer interaction with the brand, including one to one sessions with athletes looking for the perfect pair of kicks or apparel. To achieve this, Nike has put up an interactive soccer pitch and a half-court basketball area that’ll put you in the spirit of the drills. But even with all the avant-garde tech stuff, the brand’s senior director of service and experiences, Sean Madden insists, “the tech inside the store isn’t meant to be the main attraction.”
Rather, he says, “these features are meant to be make the shopping experience more personal.” If the idea seems daunting to the technologically challenged, there’s comfort in knowing that a Nike representative will help you navigate the space and help you with your purchasing decision. Niketown on Fifth Avenue lead the digital revolution in retail design, emphasizing the impact of technology on the shopping experience. It joins the long list of retail giants that occupy the Soho shopping strip, like Apple, Adidas and Google.
With customer inspiration and digital exploration taking centre-stage, the brand has added what it calls ‘immersive experiences’. In an event that you wanted to test-drive a pair of Jordans to do a layup, their in-store cameras will track your movements and upload it to the Nike+ App for action-replay. The brand new space will also host a list of cool celeb endorsements, like the upcoming LeBron Soldier X collaboration with John Elliot, as well as the Air Force 1s. Nike’s president of Global Direct, Heidi O’Neil says, “We are leading the transformation of sport retail. Whether you’re training for a marathon, shooting hoops or doing drills on our in-store court, or if you love sneakers, Nike Soho will help your raise your game. Because it’s more than a store, it’s a personal sport experience.”
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