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Nike Goes Live with a New Take on Local

Earlier this month, Nike debuted its first “live concept store” in the Melrose shopping district of Los Angeles. Dubbed “Nike by Melrose,” a concept developed by members of the neighborhood. How so?

The inaugural Nike Live store harnesses information from both sales and Nike app user data of customers who live in surrounding zip codes to drive the store’s assortment. This data allows Nike to understand what the Melrose community members are buying online, what types of activities customers participate in while wearing Nike products and what their level of engagement is with the brand.

Based off these insights, Nike by Melrose understands and caters to the active and stylish LA customer. Trendy and functional fashion-forward items are switched out every 2-6 weeks based off their online performance in the local trade area. For those simply looking to replenish their wardrobe with some core basics, the store also keeps classics like solid leggings and sports bras stocked on an ongoing basis.

Nike Live offers a more elevated, boutique shopping experience than a typical Nike store with an array of services. The retailer offers real-time texting support, curbside order pickup, bra fittings, hemming, a “Dynamic Trial Zone” to test out footwear on a treadmill and the option to schedule an “Express Session” with a Nike associate to receive guidance on the best gear for achieving one’s fitness goals.

Products are merchandised alongside messaging that drives a sense of community among its LA Nike Plus members: “LA style. LA Comfort. LA favorite. Top hoodie purchased by LA Nike Plus members,” “250,000 miles: The LA [Nike Run Club] members’ weekly runs.” Additional signage and digital displays encourage customers to scan bar-codes with their Nike app to see more colors and product information.

We see Nike continue to blur digital with physical throughout the store. This even extends beyond the store. Beacons notify app users who walk by the location, and invite customers to visit the Nike by Melrose page, visit the physical store, and use an “unlock”.

Inside the 4,557 sq. ft. store, you can scan your Nike app member QR code at the NikePlus Unlock Box vending machine to redeem a free pair of Nike socks. Staff explained that they switch out the “unlock” items every 2 weeks – a good incentive to come back and visit regularly.  Opposite of the vending machine, the same QR code can be used at a set of lockers to pick up a reserved order, bypassing the need to hail an employee or wait in line.

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In the age of experiential retail, Nike has taken a new approach to localization, using customer data and in-store technology to create a shopping experience tailored to the neighborhood customer. Nike Live will go on to serve as a testing ground for new store features and a data-driven localized approach that we may continue to see in stores to come.

With a data-first assortment strategy, recurring free product incentives, and assortments swapped out at a fast fashion pace, only time will tell if Nike Live has what it takes to keep customers coming back.

Nike by Melrose: 8552 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

By: Amanda Lai


McMillanDoolittle is a premier international retail consultancy bringing deep experience with world class clients. Our partners have extensive experience interpreting the retail marketplace and converting insights into successful strategies. We help clients develop innovative solutions in strategy development, the customer experience, new concepts, brand performance, retail performance improvement and retail intelligence services.

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