To promote its new advanced performance apparel range for women, Nike has opened an ultra tricked-out showroom and fitness studio in New York called 45 Grand – a reference to its SoHo address. All events and services are by personal appointment only, rendering it more covert club than sports shop.
Located in an overhauled former metal shop, the initiative is aimed at the city’s key influencers (press, celebrities, fashion/sportswear buyers and stylists) as well as the brand’s Nike Plus members - its top tier fitness consumers that are most engaged with its digital services, such as Nike+ Training Club, Fuel and running apps.
Designed by NY/London-based Rafael de Cardenas (see our profile) in collaboration with NY-based art director and fashion publicist Jen Brill, the minimal, club-like space offers a distinctly serious yet luxury take on fitness for women. Featuring lots of personalisation and try-before-you-buy experiences, a laboratory-style reception area and tiered seating/stage area surrounded by mirrors overlooking the gym signals a space that means business. Meanwhile, the soft, sci-fi styling of the private lounge on the mezzanine level – with pink banquettes, wooden herringbone flooring and hexagonal gold box tables – serves as a more relaxed meeting space.
Pushing the personal touch, guests are invited to have a gait analysis and to both preview and test the new products during a bespoke personalised training with a Nike coach (who also personalises their apps) – bringing remote digital concepts to life. Individualised welcome messages are displayed on digital panels on lockers, and guests can also join live expert classes.
For more on targeting women, see Female-Focused Retail and Nike’s Women-Only Boutique. For more on Nike’s wider retail strategy, see Nike Hikes: Urban Culture Adventure, Nike: Immersive Running and Nike’s Try-before-You-Buy Pop-Up.