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How Nike’s retail head reimagined the shopping experience in the company’s House of Innovation stores

How Nike’s retail head reimagined the shopping experience in the company’s House of Innovation stores
[Illustration: Artur Tenczyński]


When Heidi O’Neill, who leads Nike’s retail initiatives across the globe, was planning the company’s next wave of flagship stores, she gave her team a challenge: Could they be as “consumer-centric, bold, and innovative” in creating new shopping experiences as the athletic-wear giant has been in developing sneakers and apparel? The result is Nike’s House of Innovation stores, which opened last year in New York City and Shanghai and reimagine nearly every retail convention as an intimate spectacle. The sprawling, multi-floor emporiums offer appointments with experts who serve as both personal trainer and personal shopper. You can also have your shoes dip-dyed and decaled at craft tables, or behold what Nike says are the largest collections of footwear in the world. The stores are integrated with the Nike app to allow shoppers to reserve shoes to try on, and even scan and buy them right on a phone. Seventy percent of Nike purchases “involve interacting with a physical touchpoint,” says O’Neill, who has found that people who visit a House of Innovation spend 30% more with the brand over the next several months than other Nike customers.

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