Nike’s Gigantic New Flagship Opens in Soho: But Is It Really All That?

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3D printed displays are awesome!!

I was there on Friday (Nov. 18) shortly after it opened. Walking thru the front doors, past security, I felt I was entering a “happy place.” The store is beautiful and high-energy with some amazing tech and digital elements e.g. the digital display that runs underneath the escalators is something I’ve never seen before.

The scope of this project from staffing to maintaining all the interactive elements is mindboggling. And, by the way, the staff is fantastic (hello, Malik!).

I made my way up all 5 floors and noticed that each floor features personalization and one-on-one service elements. The most fun was the 5th floor basketball court. Lots of guys lining up to get one-on-one schooling on shooting hoops Jordan-style. Another outstanding display was of the limited-release sneakers (with release dates). Some will only be available at this store.

BUT, by the time I made my way back downstairs, I was less convinced that this store offers anything truly different. Clearly all the connectivity and the immersive elements are cool but I will have to come back, after the store has been open for a few months, to see where the crowds gravitate. I’m not convinced, for example, that people will make hour-long consulting appointments to discuss what kind of shoes they need – I may be wrong about this, we will see….

The Nike Store is at 529 Broadway (corner of Spring).

See below for my pics of the store from opening day.

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Store at corner of Broadway and Spring

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Gathering spot for events etc. (reminds me of Sweetgreen seating)

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Personalization and service elements strongly evident throughout the store

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More of expert advice and personalization in evidence

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2nd floor: customization of white sneakers into designs of your choice

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Running floor – also selling apple x nike watches

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The 3D printed displays are awesome

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The interactive running machine – keeps tabs on how you run and helps in recommending the proper shoes

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5th floor basketball area with 23ft ceilings in homage to Jordan’s #23 with the Bulls. The hoop area was extremely popular with guys lined up to take lessons from the experts.

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More on the 5th floor basketball area

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Display pieces

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Dynamic mannequins in the running section

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More digital displays at the entrance

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Bottom of the escalator with digital displays and messenging

 

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