Nike by Melrose, opening Thursday in Los Angeles, aims to provide a physical store that links directly with the Nike mobile app.
The Nike app, which launched two years ago, accounted for nearly 40% of Nike’s online revenue in its fourth quarter for fiscal year ended May 31, a Nike spokesman tells Internet Retailer.
Given that many consumers are well-acquainted with the Nike app, the store aims to “leverage the power of digital to make the store experience better by removing the friction points where we can,” says Nike’s chief digital officer Adam Sussman.
The 4,557-square-foot, single-level Nike store has tailored its products to fit the neighborhood in which it resides, based on data Nike has been collecting through Nike members, or consumers who have signed up for an account with Nike. The athletic apparel and footwear retailer tracked shopping behaviors and engagement behaviors of its members on its Nike mobile app, as well as its Nike+RunClub app for running.
For example, through the data collected, Nike found that both women and men in Los Angeles purchase one pair of Nike Cortez sneakers for every 50 pairs of sneakers purchased on the Nike app, Nike.com or in store. Based on this data, Nike features the Cortez shoe front and center on its sneaker wall.
“Everything we know about our members in this neighborhood informed how the store came together,” says Sean Madden, senior director of product.
The store features new product in the front of the store tailored for shoppers in Los Angeles, while Nike “tried-and-true” items, such as the women’s Nike classic padded sports bra or Nike pro training tights, are located toward the back of the store. Nike plans to feature new products every other week—exclusive products tailored for the Nike by Melrose location based on data collected from Nike members through its app—which is three times faster than usual product turnaround at other Nike stores.
Features and services unique to Nike by Melrose include:
- Nike sneaker bar: In the front of the sneaker bar, consumers can request a pair of shoes to try on from a store associate, or Nike athlete as the retailer refers to them, as well as checkout. In the back of the sneaker bar, consumers can schedule 30-minute “expert express sessions” via the app and then have a more in-depth discussion about their buying needs. In addition, if the consumer wants a shoe that may not be in stock at Nike by Melrose, the consumer can reserve the item through its reserve in app, try on in store feature, and the retailer will bring over the shoes from Nike’s The Grove location for the consumer prior to their scheduled visit.
- Instant reserve to Nike lockers: Using the Nike App, consumers can reserve products to be held for them in smart lockers at the front of the store. Consumers can scan their member QR code and their designated locker will open automatically. She can then try on her reserved item and complete the transaction at the sneaker bar.
- Nike scan: Consumers can scan any product bar code from the app to pull up online and store inventory and to learn more about the product while shopping in store.
- Curb service: Consumers can return or exchange items via curbside pickup. If a consumer wants to exchange an item, she can text the store—which has its number listed outside the store—to ensure the correct size is available. She can then text the Nike athlete when she’s nearing the store, and the athlete will come out of the store to return or exchange the product.
- Nike unlock box: By scanning her member QR code, a shopper can unlock a new, free product from a vending machine, such as a pair of Nike socks. Shoppers can unlock new items every 14 days.
Nike by Melrose is a pilot store for future stores of the same nature. It plans to incorporate many of the same elements in a New York store that’s set to open in the fall, as well as to another location set to open in Tokyo, Japan, sometime in the next fiscal year, but the retailer declined to provide a specific date.
Nike is No. 27 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500.