In light of the effect the pandemic has had on physical retail storefronts, many retailers are looking at permanent models that can accommodate social distancing and sanitization. Nike, a brand that has always been at the forefront of embracing an innovative mindset, has announced that it plans to open between 150 – 200 small-format, digitally enabled stores over the next few years.
The first iteration of the digitally-driven concept store, Nike by Melrose, is fueled using the data from consumers, to inform a curated two-week merchandise rotation, directed by favourites of customers in the area to create an exclusive and targeted shopping and fitness experience. The digital capabilities of the pop-up inspired concept has allowed Nike to be at the forefront of going touchless in a retail storefront – by effectively removing many pain points and angling towards a frictionless shopping journey.
The concept store features the ability to scan a barcode with your own smartphone via the Nike+ app, learn more about the product, see what options are in stock, request products be sent to a fitting room, and reserve an item to be picked up from a dedicated locker for purchase. The fascinating fact is that Nike didn’t develop these services for socially distanced shopping. It created them to provide a better experience to customers. It just so happens that the approach applies in both “normal” times and during the “new normal” – just another way embracing the future has put Nike ahead of the curve.