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Brief Published: 27 Nov 2020

Nike Debuts New Ultra-Local Format in Minor Cities

Nike Unite

Tapping into the Covid-accelerated consumer desire for localism, Nike is introducing a new format: Nike Unite. Building on the brand’s existing concepts, Live, House of Innovation and Rise, the format has been designed to act as a ‘community centrepiece’. Product assortment, store design and location, staff and community partnerships will all have a hyper-local focus.

Nike Unite will primarily be situated in suburbs and smaller cities with nine locations opening by the end of 2020. A mix of renovations and new locations, they include the town of East Kilbride in Scotland, the cities of San Antonio and Portland in the US and Namyangju and Jingzang, small cities outside of the South Korean and Chinese capitals of Seoul and Beijing. For more on the rising fortunes of smaller cities, see Monetising Micropolitan: Reaching into Regional in Leaning into Local, part of our Community + Commerce Spotlight series.

In store, visual merchandising will depict local cultures, organisations and people, prioritising local heroes over superstar ambassadors. At the entrance to each, a community wall will portray the store team and local partnerships. Throughout the spaces, design elements will highlight neighbourhood connections, such as fitting rooms decorated with local maps to encourage consumers to explore their area.

As in Nike’s Live and Rise stores, each Nike Unite shop will be stocked with curated merchandise popular with local consumers. The company is betting on community connections with local sponsorships and partnerships, as well as supporting schools and non-profits, with initiatives highlighted on the store's community wall. Staff, who will be hired from local communities, will be able to train as sports coaches as part of Nike’s Community Ambassador programme.