Joined: 13 Jan 2015
|Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:40 am Post subject: Nike citie look motif guides Shoemaker a stride on
|Nike Town Store Design Puts Shoemaker a Step Ahead
Futurist Watts Wacker describes the Nike Town that opens today in Costa Mesa's Triangle Square as a combination museum and theater that happens to sell athletic shoes and apparel.
"They tell me that . . . one day I'm going to be able to go there and holographically dunk over Michael Jordan," said Wacker, who monitors retail trends for Yankelovich Partners, a New York based market research firm. "It is a fantasy environment."
The technology to let shoppers go one on one with an NBA superstar isn't perfected yet, but Nike Town still boasts a stunning blend of architecture, electronics and retailing gimmicks.
Nike Town is only the third company owned store that Nike has opened around the country to showcase its growing product line. Nike earlier opened stores in Chicago and Portland, Ore. A fourth store will open in June in Atlanta.
Beaverton, Ore. based Nike's bold approach to retail store design has won praise from retail industry observers. Nike and other forward thinking companies "are upping the ante as to what makes a successful retail store," said Sharper Image founder Richard Thalheimer. "Everyone else looks a little less shiny because of their wonderful efforts."
With Americans spending just half the time they did in malls back in 1985, entertainment is increasingly important to retailers. According to results of a recent Yankelovich Partners survey, malls remain the third most popular place behind home and office for hanging out, but Americans increasingly view shopping as a necessary evil.
Holograms and other electronic bells and whistles will not do much for consumers who loathe shopping. But in store entertainment could rekindle interest among consumers who want shopping to be fun, especially when it comes to "things you don't necessarily have to have," Thalheimer said. "Then, shopping is fun. You can spend time with your friends being entertained, making the day enjoyable."
Thalheimer's San Francisco based Sharper Image stores invite shoppers to "test drive" $2,000 massage chairs and play with high tech gizmos before purchase. That hands on approach means "a higher cost of merchandising," Thalheimer said, "but it also results in better sales."
In store attractions need not be as dramatic as going up against an NBA superstar. Yankelovich Partners' research suggests there is also room for the relatively mundane a quiet place for home improvement store shoppers to sip coffee and contemplate a potentially expensive home remodeling project.
Mossimo Giannulli, founder of Mossimo, the Irvine based active wear apparel company, said retailing should be founded on prompt, courteous service. But he wants to turn shopping into "more of an enjoyable experience . . . which is something retailers have forgotten how to do."
Giannulli is considering juice bars and other creature comforts for a proposed string of retail stores that would sell his hot Mossimo line of clothing and accessories.
The Walt Disney Co. uses its own special blend of fantasy and reality at its 200 Disney Stores around the world. In keeping with Disney's theme park heritage, store personnel are "cast members," customers are "guests," and the stores are designed to make "each visit seem like a trip to Disneyland."
Retailers are realizing that "it isn't enough to be the Nordstrom's of whatever (niche) you're in," said Thomas W. Gilmore, general manager of MCA Development Co.'s soon to open Universal CityWalk retail complex in Los Angeles. "With the opening of projects like (Minnesota's) Mall of America and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace (in Las Vegas) you're seeing more entertaining shopping environments."
MCA's CityWalk, a 200,000 square foot retail and restaurant complex that will open later this month near Universal Studios, encourages merchants to throw out old retailing rules and take chances with their store designs.
While Nike's glitzy store is designed to entertain shoppers, the 29,000 square foot complex is also supposed to educate retailers who carry the Nike line.
Nike builds its company stores in areas where they will not compete directly with existing retailers. And, the stores never undercut retailers on price.
But retailers are invited to borrow elements from the store's design in order to better showcase Nike's growing product line.
Competing retailers should pay close attention to Nike Town "because these are very shrewd people," said Alan Millstein, publisher of a New York based fashion newsletter. "Their marketing and advertising has been the smartest and most sophisticated in the world of athletic footwear and clothing."