Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Nike's new location at the just-reopened Santa Monica Place is more than just another Niketown—the 10,000 square foot store, a much smaller space when compared to other Niketowns which ring in between 30,000 and 50,000 square feet, represents the company's new approach to the retail experience.
"The difference here are the experiences," Tim Hershey, Nike's VP and general manager of retail, told WWD. "It is beyond just the product and the transaction. It is about how we can create relationships with the customer."
At the Santa Monica Place store, a Nike+ station is next to wall displays of women’s and men’s running shoes on the first floor. Running enthusiasts also can join the Nike+ Run Club to take part in organized runs, get expert training tips and try new Nike footwear. The dressing room area has a chalkboard detailing the schedule of local runs.Following a decade of a gigantor more-is-more approach to sportswear and athletic fashion retailing, the company's taking a step back—getting in touch with its clients one-on-one. A new Niketown in Las Vegas will also take this scaled-down approach and the company plans three or four more similar locations this year.
The company is also tapping into the heritage trend by installing store features that hark back to the company's iconic history.
Throughout the store, Nike has worked in design features evoking the brand and its heritage, as well as the sports world. The brand is highlighted with the prominence of Nike’s signature orange waffle-iron patterns behind the running shoe displays recalling company co-founder Bill Bowerman’s creation of waffle-ironed rubber soles. In addition, Bowerman’s face is depicted in artwork on the wall behind the staircase between the first and second floors. A one-of-a-kind display of Air Jordan styles extends from the first to the second floor at the center of the store.· Nike's New Concept Focuses on Relationships [WWD]