Why One Tech Expert Thinks Nike Missed the Mark in Its SoHo Store

For all of the time, money, thought and effort that went into building Nike’s SoHo store, even that vision of immersive, experiential retail can fail to deliver on certain customer expectations.

Browsing in the “temple of the swoosh” one day, Lampix VP Gordon Meyer told the audience at CommerceNext in New York City all he really wanted was some product info — the problem, though, was that the shelves propping up an array of footwear only listed the shoe’s name. That left him with two mediocre choices: either look around and find a store associate to answer a “very basic question” or whip out his smartphone and search for the product details himself.

“Retailers need to accept that these days everybody knows the information is there,” Meyer said. “They want it when they want it.

“So as much as Nike is creating this store that feels exciting, there’s a lot more nuanced emotions in the retail experience that should be addressed — namely feasibility, workability, having information at my fingertips when I need it, especially for younger generations, when that’s the demand,” Meyer added.

The experience of shopping is changing for consumers across demographics. A new dad learning to appreciate the convenience of having diapers on autoship, Meyer described his typical brick-and-mortar visit as a “sensory experience” that revolves around just “being in that environment” and being able to “relax a little bit.”

He tends to duck into a store on his lunch hour so it feels like “playing hooky from work.”

“I’m not necessarily going in to buy at that moment, to purchase for some specific reason,” Meyer explained. “It’s more of ‘That’s a brand I’m interested in. Let me see what’s happening.’ ”

That’s also why he has started subscribing to lifestyle boxes, carefully curated selections of a brand’s apparel and accessories. “I’m buying into their editorial outlook,” he said.

Editor’s Note: This story was reported by FN’s sister magazine Sourcing Journal. For more, visit Sourcingjournal.com.

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