- Nike has opened a new flagship store experience in New York City, called the Nike House of Innovation 000.
- Spanning six floors and 68,000 square feet, it is packed with brand-new customer experiences that Nike has never done before.
- The store incorporates all of Nike‘s digital advances and combines them with some new ones to serve all kinds of customers, from the in-and-out shopper to the hardcore sneakerhead.
- “This is one of our most bold and confident moments on our journey of innovation,” Heidi O’Neill, the president of Nike’s direct-to-consumer business, told Business Insider.
Nike is going big on innovation. Really big.
The sports-retail giant is pulling off the cover of its newest store, officially named the Nike House of Innovation 000, on Thursday. Located on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan, it’s Nike’s new flagship store in New York.
It’s also the forefront of Nike’s headlong charge into a digital transformation.
“This is one of our most bold and confident moments on our journey of innovation,” Heidi O’Neill, the president of Nike’s direct-to-consumer business, told Business Insider. “We are making sure that this store has the best, the latest, and the most important innovation.”
Spanning six floors and 68,000 square feet, it is packed with brand-new customer experiences that Nike has never done before, including the largest collection of Nike shoes for sale in the world, a “speed shop” filled with popular items available for grab-and-go buying, and incorporation of new features from Nike’s shopping app, including instant purchase.
One floor is dedicated entirely to sneakers – including an area specifically for women’s shoes – while another is dedicated entirely to men’s clothing. Women’s and kids’ clothing share a floor.
The store is also completely module. The walls can be moved, and the store can be entirely shifted using a grid system in as little time as a day, O’Neill said, to make way for special events if desired. It makes the store adaptable, she said.
“I bet there are very few retail experiences that are built to do that and built to change at the pace of consumers in New York,” O’Neill said. “And the pace of New York itself.”
Nike opened a similar store in Shanghai on October 4, which it called the House of Innovation 001. Already, 600,000 customers have come through the door at that location, according to O’Neill.
Let’s get digital
Immediately apparent when walking into the store is how important digital has become for the company, informing both online and offline initiatives for the brand.
“What you’re seeing happen here is because we’ve watched how consumers shop online, and we think there’s a lot of amazingness there that we can bring to a physical-shopping experience,” O’Neill said.
One of the biggest ways it is doing this is allowing customers to interact with the store through the Nike app and Nike Plus, a free digital membership program.
“This store is built to come alive for members,” O’Neill said.
Early response from customers has been positive, as O’Neill said the brand has signed up a new member every two minutes in the Shanghai store.
That’s important, as those members are some of Nike’s most loyal customers.
Nike Plus members “shop more, they’re more engaged, their average purchase price is higher,” O’Neill said.
“And it’s just because they’re having a better experience with the Nike brand.”
Nike Plus members get perks like free courier delivery for purchases at the new store, free shipping for online purchases, and “unlocks,” which can include anything from exclusive access to in-demand shoes to members-only store hours. In a first for the company, the top floor is dedicated to Nike Plus members. It’s where they can book one-on-one appointments with Nike experts or customise products to make them more personal.
For app users, Nike is launching two new features: shop the look and instant checkout. The store’s mannequins are displayed throughout the store with QR codes, which the app can scan. Once the code is scanned, the app can tell you what the mannequin is wearing, which can then be delivered to a fitting room or brought out by an employee.
Instant checkout is exactly what it sounds like. Scan the barcode of the item you’re holding with your phone, press purchase, and walk out of the store. There are kiosks with hanger deposits and shopping bags.
Nike by New York
The very bottom of the store is what Nike calls the Speed Shop, which has its own entrance on 52nd Street.
It’s the next evolution of what Nike has piloted with its Nike Live stores, the first of which opened as Nike by Melrose in Los Angeles this summer.
“For someone that might need to just stop in to pick up a new running shoe – be in and out or stop at lunch hour – we have that space,” O’Neill said. “That was the insight: to take the neighbourhood experience of Melrose and make sure this store wasn’t just for the globe. It was for New Yorkers.”
The bottom floor is packed with popular products that are designed to be grabbed and purchased as quickly as customers desire. Most of what is on the shelves was chosen in part by looking at sales data to determine the most popular products with New York customers.
A sneaker bar, much like the one in the Melrose location, anchors the store, where customers can ask for sizes and checkout.
The new location comes after almost a year without a flagship store in Manhattan for the brand. Its former flagship, Niketown, closed in March. Niketown opened with a very “Willy Wonka”-esque model for shoes, with pneumatic tubes shooting product all over the store.
“I don’t think anyone’s gonna miss those,” O’Neill said. “Not when you can go to a mannequin, scan, press, and it’s here.”