Nike: Transforming the Retail Experience

Exploring Nike’s new concept store that blurs the line between the digital and physical retail space.

How can you elevate and transform the brick-and-mortar experience for your customers? Nike’s latest innovation, Nike by Melrose is a concept store located on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. Its innovative experience will shape the future of sports retail.

Nike by Melrose is the desire to bring the innovative features in Nike’s app, Nike App at Retail, to life.

Nike App at Retail

Feedback from over 500 consumers was used to evolve the Nike App at Retail. Michelle Warvel, senior director, member and athlete services explains, “The research revealed that customers want speed and convenience. They want a more personalized experience where they can navigate by themselves when they want, but balance that with service assistance when it is desired.”

This app is being piloted and showcases a variety of innovative features:

Retail Home: When a customer walks through the door, the app identifies the person, where they are and gives them access to new content.

Nike Scan: NikePlus Members can scan a product barcode to access both in-store and online real-time inventory. If the customer wants to try on the shoes, they can request a pair to be brought out by a sales staff (the “athletes”). This allows the customer to receive a personalized experience that is balanced with the service assistance of an athlete.

Instant Unlocks: A reward system for NikePlus Members provides product information, exciting brand experiences, award activity achievements and shares partner rewards. During the shopping experience, the athlete can offer a customer one of these rewards (early product release, product guidance to Apple Music, Headspace meditation, etc)

Nike Instant Reserve: Customers can go on the app to locate a product in a store near them and reserve it. Within a few hours, the customer can go in-store to complete the purchase.

Instant Reserve to Nike Lockers: The product can be held within in-store digital lockers and can be unlocked via a NikePlus Member Pass. Once unlocked, an athlete can complete the checkout.

Nike by Melrose

While bringing the app’s features to life, Nike kept in mind the shopper’s journey while designing Nike by Melrose.

The journey begins with a vibrant storefront mural called “Sunsets on Melrose” by Bijou Karman, a Los Angeles artist and Illustrator. Once the shopper enters the store, they see the store’s main unique design element, the Nike Sneaker Bar. Here the shopper can talk to an athlete to either make a purchase or ask for advice.

The Sneaker Bar is located in the middle of the store and has many functions and purposes:

Knowledge: Athletes and shoppers can sit down to discuss a product. Shoppers can also book an Express Session for deeper conversation.

Storage: Product can be stored on the inside of the bar and additional stock can be stored at the back of the store.

Product: Using the Swoosh Text capability feature on the app, customers can also text the store a photo from Instagram so that the athlete can locate the item even before they arrive.

The rest of the store is structured with the shopper journey in mind. Outside the store, Instant Reserve to Nike Lockers and NikePlus Unlock Box are two app features that come to life. The Nike Locker is used and monitored in store by the athletes and the customer can quickly access their product to get in and out of the store. NikePlus Unlock Box is a fun vending machine for members. Every two weeks, a shopper can use their member pass to redeem a free reward like a pair of socks. At the front of the store is an assortment of the latest products curated for that neighbourhood. The back of the store is divided with product for men and women. Product assortment is based on member knowledge and preferences.

The flexible store design allows Nike to quickly modify the assortment based on data patterns found through the Nike app, and Nike purchase behaviour. Even the fixtures are made to be very simple to use and move around in order to highlight product. Every feature of Nike by Melrose has been incorporated to provide a personalized experience for the shopper with access to service assistance when needed.

The Future of Sport Retail

“We had a mantra going in to this concept—build it like a pop-up, run it like a lab, and operate it like a retail store,” says Cathy Sparks, global vice president, general manager of Nike Direct Stores.

The goal of Nike by Melrose was to develop and reward loyal customers while focusing on the customer journey. Data collected from stores where Nike App at Retail is being piloted and through the concept store are helping shape the future flagship stores in New York and Shanghai. Nike is changing the future of sports retail by blurring the line between physical and digital retail spaces.

*Source: Design:Retail

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