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“If you were to walk into the Nike app, this is what it would feel like,” says chief digital officer Adam Sussman, of Nike’s new concept store in West Hollywood.
Dubbed Nike by Melrose, the 4,557-square-foot space pioneers a new digital-meets-bricks-and-mortar shopping experience for the athletic giant, inspired by features on the Nike app that debuted two years ago.
Similar to the Nordstrom Local concept shop on Melrose Place, albeit with inventory, Nike by Melrose capitalizes on service, with curbside purchases, returns and exchanges. Employees (or “athletes” as Nike calls them) are on call by text, and customers can reserve product in in-store lockers that can be accessed with the swipe of a phone barcode.
Express Sessions, that call to mind Apple Genius Bar appointments, connect store athletes with customers for one-on-one styling and fit advice. Sneakers and apparel can be tested on a treadmill in a private trial zone near the dressing rooms, which have evening, outdoor and office light settings. Alterations are also available on-site to get the length of pants and tights just right.
As the Nike by Melrose name suggests, another major push is keeping it local, with some of the product offering based on buying patterns in the neighborhood. “One in 50 purchases in this area are the Nike Cortez sneaker, which we didn’t even know until we started this exploration,” says Sussman. “If you walk around the store, you’ll see the most popular running tights and the other most searched-for items in the neighborhood, so it feels really personal and relevant.” There are T-shirts with an exclusive design by local artist, and L.A. native, Bijou Karman that replicate the mural he created on the store’s exterior.
The other objective is to “recognize and reward” brand fans with more frequent product deliveries. Every two weeks, app users will receive an “unlock box” onscreen that can be swiped at a vending machine in the store for a free gift (currently a pair of Nike Dri-Fit socks in black or white). The app also unveils other special offers, from exclusive access to coveted products, local events and partner offers from brands like Apple, ClassPass and Headspace.
The next Nike Live stores are slated for New York City this fall and Tokyo in spring 2019.
Nike by Melrose; 8552 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
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