After debuting its “Nike by Melrose” pilot store in 2018, Nike has announced the opening of two more “Nike Live” stores in Tokyo and Long Beach, Calif., designed from the ground up to leverage local purchasing data for a more intimate shopping experience.
The sportswear brand studied the Melrose store for about a year and a half and ran more than 80 tests to determine the usefulness of exploiting buying patterns and member experiences to drive traffic and sales for the “perfect neighborhood store.” What it found was that too much data is not necessarily a bad thing—it’s just that data can’t be the only factor in shaping the store experience.
Nike began working on a way to ensure that its data-driven approach was complemented by a human element, creating a retail concept that is part store and part community center.
“Nike Live is the result of a singular vision: to design the most locally relevant experience out there leveraging digital with personal service,” Cathy Sparks, vice president and general manager of global Nike Direct stores & service, said in a statement. “The success of our Melrose pilot has us so excited to expand this groundbreaking concept to new communities, with stores that offer our members convenience and the joy of sport in spaces built just for them.”
In Long Beach, Nike said it will start by focusing on women’s wear, creating “one of the must curated women’s performance product offerings in the fleet” and offering special classes and events directed toward women who live and work in the area.
Like the Nike by Melrose store, the new Long Beach location will also include a “sneaker bar,” essentially a countertop sneaker buying experience that relies on one-on-one communication with a store employee to help customers choose the right sneaker from the more than 100 pairs on display.
The Long Beach location is LEED-certified, an important factor for Californians currently beset by wildfires and power blackouts. The store will also be the first to include mannequins and decorations crafted from recycled footwear and apparel materials.
In Tokyo, Nike will look to interact with the tech-powered citizenry through its “Line” app, which gives consumers a direct line to store employees and product experts in order to check stock and keep tabs on local releases. To further capitalize on the fast pace of the Asian capital, the store will also rely heavily on BOPIS-style pick-up services and app-based in-store shopping.
Screens inside the store will also allow quick and easy sign-ups for local, Nike-sponsored events, while the NikePlus Unlock Box (available at both locations) vends out prizes released by the Nike App’s member pass.
Both locations will be restocked with new product based on local buying information every two weeks.