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Nike’s New Seoul Store Doubles as a Service Center

Nike’s continued focus on digital isn’t stopping it from experimenting with new brick-and-mortar concepts.

The footwear powerhouse opened its second Rise retail store last week in Seoul, advancing its mission to build localized physical stores. The new location maintains the same focus on technology that its predecessor in China championed, but also introduces new components, like repair services and fitness programming.

Nike Seoul will offer a year-round place for shoppers to repair worn products, as well as customize new or worn items. Shoppers can also drop off gently-worn shoes and, for the first time, apparel to be either recycled or donated to partnering organizations. The store will mark the company’s first in Asia to offer a recycling and donation program, Nike said. Further opportunities for shoppers to “give new life” to gently used footwear will come “soon,” it added, a possible nod to the company’s recently launched Refurbished resale program.

Nike’s latest South Korean store also introduces a space for customers to participate in fitness-centered programming. Visitors can join group sessions or sign up for one-on-ones tailored to their individual goals. The programming includes options focused on movement, mindset, recovery, nutrition and sleep. For those interested in something more active, employees at the store’s service desk can help shoppers find opportunities to participate in sport in the city.

The "Inside Track" table at Nike's new Seoul store lets customers compare two shoes' product benefits and online reviews side-by-side
The “Inside Track” table at Nike’s new Seoul store lets customers compare two shoes’ product benefits and online reviews side-by-side. Nike

The store also builds on the technology-driven amenities offered by Nike’s inaugural Rise location in the Chinese city of Guangzhou. Most visibly, it introduces a three-story digital wall packed with “to-the-minute” insights on local Nike product trends and sports updates.

Nike Seoul represents the company’s first store to offer what it calls the “Inside Track table.” The interactive comparison tool allows customers to place two shoes on top of an RFID-enabled table and immediately see a side-by-side comparison of product benefits, footwear technology and online reviews.

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Nike debuted its first Rise location in Guangzhou in July last year. The store promised to host regular in-store events, offered a Nike by You personalization bar and provided Nike Fit foot-scanning technology.

Nike’s new Seoul store arrives amid a concerted push to shift toward e-commerce. When the company reported its latest financial results in late June, CEO John Donahoe said that digital revenue made up nearly 35 percent of its total business. Its goal, he said, was to expand the channel to 50 percent of its mix by 2025.

Nike opened its second Rise store in Seoul
The new location maintains the same focus on technology that its predecessor in China championed, but also introduces new components, like repair services and fitness programming. Courtesy

Americans associate the Olympics with Nike

When asked to name the brand they most associate with the Olympics, U.S. adults identified Nike more than any other brand, according to last week’s Morning Consult poll, which surveyed 2,200 U.S. adults from Aug. 9-13.

When given a blank space to write in the brands that came to mind when they think of the Olympics, 19 percent chose Nike. Coca-Cola came in a distant second with 8 percent. NBC, the network that broadcasts the Games, was chosen by 5 percent of respondents. Visa and Toyota followed behind with 4 percent. Thirty-three percent of respondents did not list any brand.