Nike Flagship SoHo, New York
529 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, USA
Omnichannel may be the big buzzword in retail, but we don’t think anyone has quite pinned down exactly what it means! Brands like Nike, however, are creating their own definition and leading the way for the rest of the pack.
Having just posted a massive 48% increase in their online sales, Nike could be forgiven for shifting its attention away from bricks and mortar. Luckily for the high street, their retail strategy involves investing in bold and exciting expert spaces.
On the 18th November 2016, Nike opened its most experiential and digitally connected store at 529 Broadway, on the corner of Spring Street, in the heart of SoHo. At 55,000 sq ft (5,100 sqm), the store is a massive five story, multi sport space, with a host of immersive ‘augmented’ experiences and plenty of personalised, exclusive products and events. This concept is the vanguard of retail innovation; where product meets experience, where physical meets digital and where a store is a community space staffed not by sales people but by genuine ambassadors for the brand.
‘Swoosh Saturday’ has already become a weekly phenomenon, with athletic events and celebrity talks drawing sizeable crowds and generating complaints from local residents.
The SoHo flagship is a key component of Nike’s renewed direct to consumer retail strategy, in which stores become social spaces where customers can have a much deeper connection to the brand.
Every floor features some level of enhanced service or personalised experience; meaning there are no ‘dead zones’.
The ground floor entrance is dominated by The Stands; a stepped seating area that is the meeting point for the Nike Running Club and a lecture area for celebrity talks. SoHo Service offers Nike + members up to an hour of one on one support from dedicated Nike experts, thus combining a personalised digital platform with real world interaction.
On the second floor, Nike By NYC is an instant personalization studio that allows consumers to laser engrave and print iconic NYC symbols on products while you wait. Nike also partners with local artists to produce prints that can be customized on shirts and other apparel in limited two-week runs.
Nike+ SNKRS Experience, also on the second floor, is the largest dual-gender footwear wall in any Nike store worldwide. At 54-feet wide, it has the largest in-season collection of Nike Air Force 1s. The changing rooms are deliberately large enough to lunge and move about in.
The recently released Apple Watch Nike+, is sold the third floor. This run club concept offers motivation to go for a run, coaching plans that adapt to your unique schedule and progress and guidance from the world’s best coaches and athletes.
Located on the first floor for women and the third floor for men, the Nike+ Running Trial Zone allows visitors to test out shoes on a treadmill. Through 90-second run segments, with screen options for Central Park and the West Side Highway, you can join the real Nike+ Run Club, virtually, with Nike Pacers and real-time, on-screen feedback via two cameras. Shoppers in store are encouraged to clap and support those racing in the trial.
Located on the third floor, the Nike+ Soccer Trial Zone is a 400-square-foot boot trial area with a synthetic turf field floor. Consumers can try Nike soccer studs and get 1:1 guidance from in-store certified trial athletes.
The top floor is a cathedral to Basketball. The ceilings are raised to a symbolic 23 feet (both Michael Jordan’s and LeBron James’ jersey numbers), and this floor houses Nike’s vast Jordan brand and basketball collection.
The undoubted highlight of Nike SoHo is the half-court basketball testing area. Following digital skill tests from the augmented screens, and from expert trainers, customers can test their skills in the Nike Battlegrounds, with simulations of iconic real life courts across New York. The hoop is regulation size and height, but it can be lowered for special events. Cameras above track your performance and the crowds of onlookers cheer on, whilst secretly judging your performance!
The basketball court is surrounded by crowds, all watching, openly competitive, waiting for their go…
Is this the best sports store on the planet? Quite possibly!