Nike has come a long way from its humble beginnings, when founder Phil Knight sold early shoe models from his station wagon, to its present status as the most powerful sports brand in the world. The footwear conglomerate is flexing its creative and technological muscles with its new five-story, 55,000-square-foot store in the SoHo section of New York City. According to Engadget, it will have everything from 3D-printed decorations to a Kinect-powered basketball court.
The store will also provide Apple Pay support and wall-mounted touchscreens where you can hail a helpful associate, or buy Swoosh gear on the spot. It was scheduled to be open on Friday November 11, but Sneakerwatch reports that the opening date is still TBD due to permit issues.
Sean Madden, senior director of service and experiences for Nike’s direct-to-consumer division, mentions that the tech inside store isn’t the main event. These are enhanced features designed to augment the shopping experience and make it more distinctive and unique for each customer. The Kinect sensors capture body movements and display that data on the screen in front of you. Of course, if you’re impressed and feel a little giddy at this 21st century sales pitch, you might just be more inclined to buy some merch, which is the whole point of any retail store
“We’re leading the transformation of sport retail — offering the best of Nike products, services and experiences under one roof,” Heidi O’Neill, Nike’s President of Global Direct to Consumer told Modern Notoriety. “With Nike Soho we can realize the promise of personalized performance. Powered by immersive digital trials and in-store experts, this store is about elevating every athlete’s potential.”
The sneaker fans at Kicks On Fire noted some other features of the massive store. The Nike+ Basketball Trial Zone is nearly half a court on the 5th floor with 23-foot ceilings. The first floor Nike+ Running Trial Zone lets consumers test shoes on a treadmill. The third floor Nike+ Soccer Trial Zone is a 400-square-foot space with a synthetic turf field floor for testing soccer shoes. Nike By NYC is a studio where you can laser engrave and print unique NYC symbols on Nike gear. And The Lounge is a women’s boutique within the store meant for services like bra fittings and pant hemming.
Oh, and there’s a water bottle station.