Nike by Melrose Opens With Community and Digital Emphasis

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Nike has cut the ribbon on its newest retail experience in West Hollywood, Calif. Being billed as the next level of physical and digital shopping, consumers are now being catered to on personal levels with mobile-friendly options.

The store, located on Melrose Avenue, is wide open with bright product flowing 360 degrees, circling what Nike calls the “Sneaker Bar.” Consumers can get any footwear questions answered on the spot, request their favorite shoe and quickly receiving the pair and checkout.

Lifestyle and running shoes are the main focus at launch, with the Nike Cortez model being a staple of the community.

Nike is building out its brick and mortar location based on digital mining data. They’re taking trends and purchasing patterns from its members using the NikePlus app, and stocking the shelves with updates being implemented every two weeks.  

Sean Madden, senior director of product for Nike, detailed how quickly this process came to fruition.

“We sat down in our Beaverton headquarters last fall and put this project together. From a 10-page idea to opening, it was very fast; from ideation to execution,” he said.

Last summer, Nike mapped out its consumer direct offense, leveraging its digital platforms to grow consumers. Twelve cities were targeted, with Los Angeles being the first to open the new retail space.

“When we looked at L.A. and where this store would resonate, we love the city and have a lot of members here that are active with us. It felt like a place to put forward our first member offering. When we studied where they were running and buying, the science brought us to West Hollywood,” Madden explained.

Melrose Storefront (Photo by Nike)

The digital in-store strategy has been a focal point for the retail giant and utilizing its core members for analytical feedback has been key. Using the app, you can see which products are currently in stock and reserve sizes ahead of time.

Another feature that looks to speed up the shopping process is “Curb Service and Swoosh Text.” The public can send text messages to a store employee who responds in real-time. Shoppers can then drive to Melrose and exchange purchases without leaving their car, or walk in and the product will be waiting inside custom lockers.

Also found within the L.A. store is the “Dynamic Fit Zone,” a fitting room with a full-sized treadmill to test out running shoes and apparel.

“Instant Unlocks” is another feature exclusive to NikePlus members, a free service available by downloading the app and signing in with your Facebook or email account. As a reward program, shoppers scan their membership pass into a vending machine and receive gifts. At launch date, socks were being offered and this will update periodically.

“If we see a trend pick up, we want to bring it into the store. The buying patterns are really informing the favorites. We want to build relationships with the local community,” Madden detailed.

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Plans are to open a second digital heavy storefront in Tokyo in the coming months. The athletic brand continues to learn which products are being valued and what services complement the shopping experience.

“It’s not a copy and paste project,” Madden emphasized. “It’s really about getting in the neighborhood and serving the member.”