Niketown Pops Up On Long Island
New NIKE location hits New York.
Every time you blink, a new Nike store appears. The phenomenon’s most recent victim is Long Island’s Roosevelt Field mall, a shopping center in the news most recently when teen sensation Justin Bieber shut it down last November. The new Niketown is also home to some of the company’s best customer customization work, and the store held an event last Wednesday night in which employees showed local high school athletic directors and newspaper journalists (and myself) all it has to offer.
The retail spot’s best feature is its NIKEiD setup, as I was told by a NIKE expert referred to as an “Ekin” (spell it backwards, fools). As you may know, NIKEiD started as an exclusive, back-of-the-room type of deal where athletes and entertainers could get hooked up for a price. Now, clearly, that’s changed, and there’s no better proof than the new Niketown location.
Right smack in the middle of the store is a large open area with four Mac computers, where customers can customize their own kicks with the help of design consultants that know the system inside and out (“Make this part red” is about the only knowledge needed from the consumer.) The process is intense, too, and everything down to the shoe’s intent is changeable. For example, choosing either “cushioned” or “responsive” might be decided based on what position or sport you’d be wearing the sneaks for.
Jerseys, hoodies, and t-shirts are also easily customizable, as athletes can get their name and numbers put on pieces of clothing in 15-20 minutes time while they wait (entire team jobs take five-seven days). The in-store customization process at the new store is only done at two Niketowns nation-wide, the other one being the Santa Monica, Ca. location.
The back of the store is equipped with two Macs, used for the NIKEPlus program, in which users can set up a Sportband that utilizes a censor to accomplish a whole host of training-type activities. On the Niketown computers (or in the comfort of their own homes), NIKE Plus users can: set up their own running plans and routes; calculate how well they’re doing by archiving their times and calorie-loss figures; join groups and compete (and talk smack) against friends, co-workers, or random people online with similar interests; and find great running routes in countries across the world.
Of course, the store is also equipped with the newest NIKE gear, ranging from kicks to pants to jackets to hoodies. The new Niketown is open now at the Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, NY, and you NYC-area folks can check it out any day of the week. Just don’t pull a Bieber, please. Keep it civilized.