- Nike partnered with Foot Locker on a new retail concept for its third community-centric Power Store, which opened Saturday in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighbourhood.
- The store features integrated in-store technology powered by Nike through its app. Shoppers can use it to receive free giveaways, early access to limited-edition sneakers, and real-time inventory information.
- We visited the store in advance of its official public opening. This is what it was like.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The store – which opened to the public on August 10 in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighbourhood – includes a variety of new features, including the ability to search for and reserve products on the Nike app either in-store or at home. The app also provides shoppers with access to special perks when visiting the physical store, including the ability to select an item from the Nike Plus Unlock Box – a vending machine filled with Nike-branded goodies like sunglasses and chargers – as well as access to limited-edition sneakers via the Nike Shoecase.
Throughout the store, users can also scan barcodes to pull up additional information and real-time inventory from Nike and Foot Locker stores in the vicinity.
In tandem with the opening of the Washington Heights store, Nike and Foot Locker announced plans to open 50 Power Stores in the U.S. in the next three years. This is the first time Nike has lent its digital capabilities to a partner in this capacity, Ann Hebert, vice president of global sales at Nike, told Business Insider.
“We want to get to know consumers better so that we can serve them better,” Hebert said. “Footlocker’s got amazing relationships here locally in the community, and we want to take advantage of that. Consumers in this community love Nike and we love them back, so we’re bringing our technology here as part of our network strategy.”
We visited the new Washington Heights Foot Locker Power Store in advance of its official public opening. Here’s what it’s like.
The Foot Locker Power Store is located in Washington Heights in Manhattan.
Foot Locker Power Stores are significantly larger than regular Foot Lockers, since they combine, menswear, womenswear, and children’s apparel and footwear. The Washington Heights location, 605 W 181st St, New York, NY 10033, is two-stories tall and approximately 9,000-square-feet.
According to Frank Bracken – vice president and general manager of Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, and Lady Foot Locker – each store features products and an overall aesthetic that are specific to the city and neighbourhood.
The first two Power Stores are located in Detroit and Philadelphia, and are focused on catering to the entire community — from seasoned athletes to parents looking for a pair of shoes for their child’s first day of school.
As part of the Power Store initiative, Bracken said 85% of the Washington Heights store is staffed by employees who live directly in the neighbourhood.
One of the first things we saw when we walked into the store was a sign encouraging shoppers to download the Nike app and become NikePlus members in order to fully tap into all of the store’s new features.
The app and membership are both free.
The app opens up access to perks throughout the store, including this vending machine filled with Nike-branded products.
The app allows shoppers to scan individual items to learn more information about the product, or to view inventory in real-time.
We found these signs scattered across the store.
As we wandered around the first floor, we noticed the store definitely had an inclusive, family-oriented vibe.
The Power Store was designed to cater to the entire family, Bracken said, from athletes looking for performance gear to kids looking for shoes for the playground.
We found apparel and footwear for any age, including teeny-tiny infant and toddler sneakers.
As well as slightly bigger shoes for preschoolers.
Bracken said Foot Locker has made a concerted effort to expand its product range and add a wider variety of brands.
For its women’s department, Bracken cited newer additions like Tommy Hilfiger and an expanded Champion collection. “With the benefit of the space, we’re able to merchandise and offer a better assortment flow for [consumers],” he said.
On the first floor, we also found this homage to Washington Heights in the form of a mural featuring symbols emblematic to the area.
“What kind of distinguishes [the Power Store] is neighbourhood connectivity,” Bracken said. “From the artwork and the murals and throughout the story, there are vestiges of that.”
Here’s another custom mural of a map of Washington Heights.
Next we made our way to the large staircase located in the center of the store. It includes outlets for customers to charge their phones and other devices as they lounge on the steps.
Bracken said the store was designed with various places for members of the neighbourhood to come in and hang out.
On the second floor, we found exclusive, limited-edition products designed to celebrate Washington Heights, like this collection.
We also found this collection of Washington Heights-inspired shirts.
During launch week, Foot Locker is hosting a panel series called “Homegrown,” where the founders and entrepreneurs of these featured collections will come and speak to members of the Washington Heights community.
We spotted various lockers around the store for customers to pick up items they purchased online.
Here are more lockers directly behind the second-floor registers.
One of the coolest parts of the store is the NikePlus ShoeCase, where shoppers can win access to hard-to-find sneakers.
Shoppers can scan their personal QR code in the Nike app to get the process started.
Once the customer has scanned their code, the featured shoe spins and the machine glows with purple florescent lights as it prepares to release a ticket.
Winning tickets provide access to purchase the limited edition shoe on display in the machine at any given time.
A close-up of a losing ticket, which also doubles as a sticker or decal.
The store includes a variety of fun collaborative collections, like the Nike Kyrie x SpongeBob Squarepants collection.
Each pair of shoes represents one of the main characters: Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick Star, and Squidward Tentacles.
We also found this cheetah print Nike “Freak” shirt and hat.
Ultimately, the store was very well-organised and designed. Despite Nike’s partnership with the store, it wasn’t overly centered on the brand.
“We’ve been partners with Foot Locker for decades and we feel like they have the same passion to serve the consumer that we do, and desire to identify how you recognise them when they come in the door, how to serve them in your entirety, and how to you reward them where it’s possible,” Hebert, VP of global sales at Nike, said.
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