Nike has opened a hi-tech retail space to showcase its new FuelBand product at Boxpark, the London shopping centre made from shipping containers.
At its East London FuelStation, Nike has combined three of the containers to provide a bit more space for retail, but selling merchandise is not the primary aim of this Nike store. This concept provides a highly effective setting to communicate the brand message and to showcase the new Nike+ FuelBand, which constantly tracks the wearer’s movements and allocates points based on their activity levels.
The latest shoes and sports clothing are displayed along the walls but, with such limited space, touch screens are on hand to explore the whole product range. In reality the interactive technology is guaranteed to quickly distract the shopper anyway. Stand in front of a mirror and it turns into a screen showing a local fitness enthusiast describing their daily exercise regime. A Kinect-powered motion-sensitive wall turns movement into pixels which can then be recorded and shared with friends via social media too. ‘I want one of these at home!’ said one highly animated customer.
Service is another key differentiator at the store. Free from the pressure to shift racks of merchandise, the staff seem genuinely eager to listen and help. They can set up FuelBands for customers and can use a store treadmill to assess your running style and match you with the most suitable shoes. You can then put the shoes to good use at the running club that meets at the store on Thursdays, with Nike providing a sports physio.
Consumer Insights: For the fitness enthusiast, running is about lifestyle and not about shoes. Nike addresses the issues of motivation, routine and personal goals that inspire their customers, rather than focusing on their own products.
Brand take-away: Nike has created a (disappointingly small) space that celebrates the brand’s commitment to exercise. It cleverly mixes the physical and the virtual to produce a rich and interactive brand experience.