I hate it when the same brands come up when we think of innovation and future design, but I guess that’s why they are the marquee brands for which customers are willing to fork out a huge premium.
On my recent trip to LA, I went to a Nike store at Del Amo Mall in Torrance and I must say for a moment, I was disappointed by the layout of the store and how cumbersome the entire choice making process seemed to be. I gave the benefit of doubt to Nike and then while having a conversation with a friend in New York, he mentioned to me the Nike flagship store on Fifth Avenue, very unimaginatively called ‘The House of Innovation’!
Synchronising the physical with digital the store provides an amazing retail experience. There is the Nike Speed Shop, an entire floor that uses local data to stock its shelves, and re-stock them based on what the customers wants. For NikePlus members (free membership) one can reserve items via phone and have them held in an in-store locker, ready for pickup at your convenience. A customization wing – The Arena, delivering on Nike’s pioneering DIY spirit and offering a huge choice of laces, fabrics, decals and more. The Sneaker Lab has the largest collection of Nike footwear anywhere in the world.
The Nike Expert Studio, for personalised service allows local Nike Members to book in-store and on the Nike App. Whether prepping for a marathon or finding the right fit, NikePlus members can partner with a Nike Expert to find the right item, and then create a personal look.
The retail experience will continuously evolve, brands like Hema from Alibaba in China is redefining retail. India as usual will take time to get there. But Indians by nature are intuitive and chaotic at the same time. It will take a lot of commitment from the top retail brands in India to make the transition to a phygital world. Until then, keep visiting Nike, Apple, Tesla, Hema outlets on your trips overseas.