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Nike, Selfridges Give Special Attention to Women’s Sneakers With New Store Experiences

Women’s athletic footwear is a rapidly growing sector in the shoe industry. And though it’s often been underserved by retailers in the past, two top fashion retailers are now rolling out concept shops in response to growing revenues and demand for women’s sneakers.

U.K. luxury chain Selfridges recently opened a 1,776-square-foot sneaker boutique dedicated entirely to women’s sneakers at its Oxford Street flagship. The space, housed on the second floor in the store’s Shoe Galleries, offers more than 700 pairs of fashion and athletic sneakers.

The sneaker section caters to fashionistas and sneakerheads, alike. Luxury labels like Chloe, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga and Gucci are carried in the “fashion” section, while go-to sneaker brands like Nike, Vans and Converse round out the assortment.

The shop is also the first retailer to stock Nike’s 1 Reimagined collection of reworked Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1 designs.

Meanwhile, across the Chunnel in Paris, Nike unveiled Unlaced, a new women’s-focused digital and retail concept curated by local stylists and creatives. The concept will roll out this year across key markets including New York, London and Shanghai.

“We see [Unlaced] as a way to connect trend and style, and maintain a finger on the pulse locally, but at the same time also give visibility to what is happening in key cities through partnerships with people that are authoritative,” said Julie Igarashi, Nike Woman vice president and creative director.

Touted as “a fantasy sneaker destination for women,” Unlaced is part of Nike’s plan to grow its $6.6 billion women’s business to $11 billion by 2020. Consumers will have access to personalized styling and VIP member services, including same-day delivery, exclusive shopping hours and one-on-one appointments.