Nike opens first global flagship store in Shanghai, targets younger consumers

People walk into a Nike store in Shanghai.
China Daily/Asia News Network

Sportswear giant Nike Inc's newly opened first global flagship store in Shanghai aims to attract digital-savvy younger Chinese consumers with its digital integration, innovations and personalized services.

The cross-category store, located at Nanjing East Road in downtown Shanghai, dubbed the "House of Innovation", is a four-story, 3,822-square-meter store.

The next flagship store on such a scale will open in November on 5th Avenue in New York.

Nike's store in Shanghai features its latest localized collection themed with Shanghai elements, which is linked to the upcoming Shanghai Marathon in November.

"This market is growing so fast that we really want to make sure we listen to these consumers," said Dennis Van Oossanen, vice-president and general manager of Nike Direct China. "We will continue to evolve with different elements connecting the stores to the local consumers."

Oossanen said the store represents an expression of Nike's digital transformation. The store is equipped with a mobile-checkout and one-on-one sports expert sessions where members can try on sportswear and personalized product to suit their needs.

Online-and-offline integration is key in the store's retailing experience. Nike's WeChat Mini-programme is part of Nike's eco system. Nike members will be able to pre-book services in the store through Nike's mini programme.

"The 'House of Innovation' is set to propel our consumer-direct strategy as it provides the best that Nike brands has to offer through the integration of digital and physical retail," said Angela Dong, vice-president of Nike Inc and general manger of Nike China. Nike's members will have access to its customised products through online reservations or in-store booking.

Nike's revenue growth in China surged 21 per cent in fiscal 2018 to $5.13 billion, accounting for 14 per cent of Nike's total sales globally. Nike China has delivered 17 consecutive quarters of double-digit revenue growth in the nation. In the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year, growth in China was 20 per cent.

Adam Zhang, founder of the Key-Solution sports marketing and consulting agency, said international sportswear brands have found the Chinese market is playing an increasingly significant role in their global market, amid the slowdown in their traditional markets.

The rapid development of the sportswear industry has benefited from the consumption upgrades by the rising number of middle-income consumers in China, he said.