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STORE SPACES

Check out Nike’s new store format

BY Marianne Wilson

Nike on Thursday opened the doors of a new concept that uses analytics to provide a localized shopping experience.

Nike Live made its debut on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Called Nike by Melrose, the 4,557-sq.-ft., single-level, cross-category store features a number of digitally-led service offerings, designed to match the needs of neighborhood consumers.

The location and the product assortment was selected using insights gained from Nike’s analysis of activity and buying patterns of Los Angeles members of its loyalty program (NikePlus) across the company’s suite of digital touchpoints, including its website and app.

“Nike Live stores are specifically designed to be a service hub for local NikePlus members,” said Heidi O’Neill, president, NikeDirect. “We’re thrilled to be opening up Nike by Melrose and bringing the best of Nike products and offerings selected for this community. As well as being the first Nike Live destination, we will also test services that can then roll out to other Nike stores, combining digital features with a unique physical environment to create the future of Nike retail.”

The store utilizes Nike’s new Nike App at Retail service, allowing NikePlus Members to reserve product to in-store digital lockers, scan product barcodes to learn more (including product availability in nearby stores or online, and available colorways) and access new features and content in the Nike App homepage.

And all loyalty program members will have access to the “unlock box” where they can scan their member pass every two weeks for unique Nike products and goods. They can also use “swoosh text,” an SMS messaging system that connects them to the Nike by Melrose store team through the Nike app.

The primary destination in the store centrally-located Nike Sneaker Bar, where the customer can get any footwear questions answered, request to try-on an item on the spot, purchase and go. It is “the fastest shoe buying experience Nike offers,” the company said.

NikePlus members can also one-to-one personal service sessions at the store. The sessions will be primarily held in the “dynamic fit zone,” which is outfitted with a lounge, fitting room, spaces for alterations and bra fittings, and an in-store treadmill.

Nike by Melrose has an exterior mural, entitled “Sunsets on Melrose,” that takes inspiration from the diversity of Angelinos and the style of the neighborhood.

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Old Navy launches in-store pickup; rolls out new store experience

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Gap’s value apparel brand is getting online orders into its shoppers’ hands faster. It’s also updating the look of its stores.

Old Navy has launched a buy online, pickup in-store service at all stores nationwide. After placing an order, customers have seven days to visit the store to pick up their purchase at a specially designated kiosk, according to a Gap Inc.  blog.

The new service coincides with the rollout of Old Navy’s new store concept. The design, which is being featured in newly renovated stores, provides for a bright and airy space, with modern and simple finishes that put a spotlight on the merchandise. The mood is fun and friendly-friendly — there is even a hopscotch board on the floor.

By the end of 2018, Old Navy will have completed an 18-month project to completely remodel 300 stores.

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STORE SPACES

Oprah’s newest bet is a restaurant chain with ambitious expansion plans

BY Marianne Wilson

Oprah Winfrey is expanding her food empire with an investment in a restaurant chain that specializes in healthy eating and drinking.

Winfrey has made an equity investment in True Food Kitchen. The terms of the deal were not revealed. Winfrey is joining the restaurant’s board and will “collaborate and consult” with its leadership team and “extend her strategic insight” to support the brand’s national expansion.

True Food Kitchen has a health-driven menu of seasonal dishes and natural beverages. It operates 23 restaurants in 10 states, with plans to double its store count during the next three years. Key focus areas include new markets in New York, New Jersey and North Carolina. It is set to open two new locations in the coming months, in Nashville, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida.

The company was founded in by physician Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, with the menu inspired by “anti-inflammatory” diet. The menu offers sustainable, local and organic meals, including vegan and vegetarian options. Private equity firm Centerbridge is True Food Kitchen’s controlling shareholder.

“When Ms. Winfrey and I first sat down to discuss her potential investment, I was impressed by her genuine passion for the intention behind True Food,” said Christine Barone, CEO, True Food Kitchen. “My hope is that her passion and investment will continue to develop our growing brand to allow even more guests to experience a better way of eating.”

In 2015, Winfrey bought an approximate 10% stake in Weight Watchers, and received a seat on the board. She also has a partnership with Kraft Heinz Company for a line of prepared foods sold at supermarkets.

In a statement, Winfrey said she sought out Barone after dining at the chain with her friend and health expert, Bob Greene.

“I love bringing people together over a good meal,” Winfrey stated. “When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team’s passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food, that I knew I wanted to be part of the company’s future.”

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