The two new stores integrate Nike app features, such as Nike locker reserve and unlock boxes, which the retailer tested over the last 18 months at its first Nike Live store. The Nike Live stores convert shoppers into loyalty program members at a high rate.

Nike Inc. today opened two app-integrated Nike Live stores in Tokyo and Long Beach, California.

The athletic apparel and goods manufacturer launched its first Nike Live store about 18 months ago at its Los Angeles-based store Nike by Melrose. Since then, it has added its app-integrated features at other locations, such as its New York City flagship store. But Nike by Melrose was its only other “Nike Live” store until now, with products curated specifically for the neighborhood in which it resides.

The stores leverage Nike’s robust mobile shopping app, which launched about three years ago. “[The app has] become the largest and fastest-growing platform in our portfolio, growing almost triple digits this quarter,” CEO and president Mark Parker said in an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha, regarding its 2020 fiscal first quarter ended Aug. 31.

The conversion rate of shoppers into NikePlus members at Nike by Melrose is six times higher than at the rest of Nike’s stores. The retailer tracked members who had come into the store versus a comparable set of customers who hadn’t. The members who had visited the shop later spent 30% more online than the ones who didn’t have that unique in-person experience, Nike says. In Shanghai, where Nike just opened a store similar to the New York flagship, Nike is signing up a new loyalty program member every two minutes. “We’re seeing our members engaging at a rate that exceeded our expectations,” says Adam Sussman, chief digital officer at Nike.

The retailer added nearly 1 million North American members in its first fiscal quarter, Parked noted.

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Nike’s mobile app encourages shoppers to enroll in the brand’s free NikePlus loyalty program, which gives them access to such perks as discounts, personalized recommendations and exclusive product offers. These perks are available online and within the app. When a shopper enters a Nike store, the app geolocates her and changes to reveal store-specific features called Nike App at Retail, including scanning products to send to a fitting room or check size and color availability online and in-store, reservations for Nike shoe fittings, unlocking bonus rewards and picking up online orders.

Woman's hands using the Nike Scan feature via the Nike App at Retail to scan a QR code on an in store sports bra. The smartphone photo displays the product page at Nike's ecommerce site.

Using the Nike Scan feature via the Nike App at Retail.

“Nike Live is the result of a singular vision: to design the most locally-relevant experience out there leveraging digital with personal service,” says Cathy Sparks, vice president, general manager of Global Nike Direct Stores and Service. “The success of our Melrose pilot has us so excited to expand this groundbreaking concept to new communities, with stores that offer our members convenience and the joy of sport in spaces built just for them.”

The footwear manufacturer and retailer used the prior Nike Live stores as a test run to determine which features worked best, which needed improvement and other features they could potentially add in the future, the retailer says.

Nike by Long Beach

The Nike Live store in Long Beach includes a larger, more curated selection of women’s apparel and footwear, as well as more opportunities for its female shoppers to engage through personalized coaching opportunities with Nike coaches and other programming. Members are

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notified about special events via the Nike app.

The Long Beach store will also attempt to engage Nike Plus members with more Nike activities, such as group workouts, in-store pop-up events and networking opportunities that are only available to members. In addition, the store has staff-picked items with handwritten notes that describe why a store associate likes a certain product.

The NikePlus Unlock Box, which was introduced at Nike by Melrose, will also be available at the Long Beach store. Shoppers scan their member QR code found on the app to receive a new, free product from a vending machine, such as a pair of Nike socks. Shoppers can unlock new items every 14 days. This is also available at the Tokyo store.

Nike by Shibuya Scramble in Tokyo

Woman taking a Nike shoe box from a female sales associate using the reserve and pick up in store feature at the Nike Tokyo store.

A shopper uses the reserve and pick up feature at the Nike Tokyo store.

Nike Plus members in Tokyo can connect with store associates via the LINE messenger app, the most popular messaging app in Japan, according to Similar Web Ltd. data. Shoppers can chat about an order or new products, as well as check out via the LINE app.

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The Tokyo store, which is located at the Shibuya Crossing intersection, also offers omnichannel functions, such as ship to store, reserve and pick up, and instant reserve to Nike lockers, in which a consumer reserves products via the app to be held for her in smart lockers at the front of the store. When she arrives, she can scan her order QR code and her designated locker will open automatically.

The store will also feature community running groups led by store associates, as well as a Nike Sports Finder feature on in-store digital screens, allowing shoppers to learn about Nike-only events and Nike partnered gyms and studios in Tokyo.

Although the retailer declined to share where it might open Nike Live stores in the future, Parker in an earnings call said Nike plans to integrate the Nike App at Retail in more Foot Locker stores in its coming fiscal year after it added the functionality to Foot Locker stores in August in Portland, Santa Monica, California, Los Angeles and New York City. NikePlus members can use the Nike app to scan barcodes to learn more about products, check in-store inventor, and reserve online and pick up in Nike lockers at the Foot Locker store. Only Nike products are available for reserve online pick up in store, according to a Nike spokeswoman.

“This digital transformation of Nike, it’s impacting everything we do from how we create product to how we assess demand and plan supply all the way through to consumer services through the Nike app that are now not just in our digital offerings but in our retail stores and increasingly in our partner doors,” Parker said.

Nike is No. 33 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000.

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