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STORE SPACES

First Look: Nike debuts high-tech, immersive store format in New York

BY Marianne Wilson

Nike’s newest retail concept is a high-tech, experiential showcase on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

The six-level, 68,000-sq.-ft. Nike NYC, dubbed a “House of Innovation,” combines innovative physical services and digital features via the Nike app to provide a personalized and futuristic shopping experience.

Nike is debuting several new tech features in New York, including “shop the look.” By scanning a QR code on a mannequin, shoppers can browse every single item on the display, check to see if their size is available in-store or online and see available colors. Then with just a tap, they can request for select products to be sent to a fitting room of their choice or receive the items from a store athlete at a designated pick-up spot.

Also, NikePlus members can skip the checkout line and pay for their purchases from within their Nike App using stored or new payment methods. Members can scan the item(s) of their choice, check out like a traditional Nike App purchase and receive the payment receipt within the app. Special “instant checkout” stations are positioned throughout the store so that shoppers bag products if they choose before leaving. And if shoppers don’t want to haul their bags around the city, they can request to have their in-store purchases delivered to their home, hotel, office or any location of their choice in Manhattan, within the same day.

“Nike NYC is designed to be a dynamic store environment, that is just as personal and responsive as digital,” said Heidi O’Neill, president, Nike Direct. “This premium destination gives consumers an authentic, immersive and human connection to the Nike Brand.”

The ground floor is home to the Nike Speed Shop which, similar to Nike by Melrose, uses Nike’s digital commerce data to provide a localized assortment that features the most loved products by local members of Nike’s loyalty program, NikePlus, along with curated seasonal picks.

The Speed Shop is also home to the Nike Sneaker Bar, which provides easy and fast access to Nike footwear and customization opportunities. In addition, NikePlus members can reserve items via the Nike App and pick them up in lockers located in the Speed Shop.

Other store features include the Nike Expert Studio, the company’s first-ever dedicated floor for NikePlus members. It offers a range of services, from bookable one-on-one sessions with Nike experts to access to seasonally exclusive products to cut-and-sew customization of Nike’s latest apparel launches and other personalization options.

The store exterior utilizes both slumped and carved glass designed to reflect and create motion that mirrors the movement of athletes, elevates the Nike Swoosh and represents the iconic aesthetic of Nike Air. The area just inside the entrance – called the Nike Arena — showcases immersive seasonal and sport-inspired storytelling moments from the brand. It also features a custom-designed installation, called the Sport Beacon, inspired by the non-stop visual and sonic clash in New York City.

The interior has product floors dedicate to men, women, kids, and the footwear-obsessed. The Sneaker Lab, on the fourth floor, has the largest concentration of seasonally current Nike footwear anywhere in the globe, according to the company.

For more slideshows, click here.

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Stores win out for grocery shopping—and by a wide margin

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Despite an abundance of new options for buying groceries online, American consumers still prefer to do their shopping in stores.

Eighty-seven percent of consumers prefer to shop for groceries in person, according to a survey from facilities management company Vixxo. The preference spanned different age groups, with nearly all Baby Boomers (96%) and a vast majority of Millennials (81%) opting for the in-store experience vs. online.

The key driver was selection, as most Americans (84%) like inspecting and picking out their own products. Others (60%) said they simply prefer the atmosphere and experience of shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. More than one-third (34%) of respondents said they notice things like the lighting, temperature and other factors that set the ambience when they first enter a supermarket.

Food quality was the most important factor when selecting an item at the grocery store, according to 45% of shoppers. Freshness of the ingredients is also critical to the buying decision, with 43% of shoppers demanding that their prepared foods be freshly made. For instance, approximately one-quarter of respondents buy prepared food from their grocery stores, including pizza (31%), pasta salad (29%), rotisserie chicken (28%), sandwiches (24%), and sushi (15%). All these preferences underscore the importance of having well-maintained food preparation, cold storage and food warming equipment.

While consumers may have their favorite stores, few are exclusively loyal. Only 14% said that they shopped at one store, while nearly half (45%) said they shopped at three or more stores in an average month. This “infidelity” pattern of shoppers underscores the importance of delivering a superior in-store experience to attract and retain more customers in a highly competitive market.

“A key takeaway for grocery retailers is that effective facilities management impacts the customer experience,” said Warren Weller, Vixxo’s chief client officer. “A well maintained store can keep them coming back for more. Maintaining and optimizing assets like food production equipment, lighting, digital signage and refrigeration is essential to delivering an exceptional customer experience.”

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Ikea commits to solar, EV charging in San Antonio

BY Marianne Wilson

Ikea’s commitment to sustainability will be reflected in its new San Antonio-area store.

The home furnishings giant said that its upcoming location in Live Oak, Texas will be equipped with solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations when it opens in the winter months of 2019. The 289,000-sq.-ft. store will feature a 245,000-sq.-ft. solar array, which will consist of a 1.72 MW system, built with 4,986 panels, and produce approximately 2,510,000 kWh of electricity annually for the store. Ikea commissioned REC Solar for the development, design and installation of the system.

In addition, the store will have three Blink electric vehicle charging stations. This initiative reflects the continued partnership between Ikea and Blink Charging Co., a leading owner, operator and provider of electric vehicle charging station products and networked EV charging services with thousands of public charging stations in the U.S. There are currently Blink EV charging units at 34 IKEA stores in the U.S.

The Live Oak installation will represent the 55th solar project for Ikea in the U.S., and contribute to the company’s solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of more than 56 MW. Ikea owns and operates the solar PV energy systems atop its buildings as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement).

Globally, Ikea has allocated $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020, reinforcing its confidence and investment in solar photovoltaic technology. In line with its goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea has installed more than 750,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 441 wind turbines, including 104 in the U.S.

The Live Oak Ikea store will be built on 31 acres at the southwest corner of Interstate 35 and Loop 1604, approximately 15 miles northeast of downtown San Antonio.

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