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Retail Prodigy Group will open the doors to a three-level Nike flagship store at George Street in the Sydney CBD on Thursday morning.
The new flagship is the first high street store for the brand in Sydney, situated in a heritage building that has been modernised for the new store. The ground floor is dedicated to men’s training and running, sportswear, the Jordan Brand and basketball in the basement. The first floor has been designated for womenswear, in the running, training and sportswear categories, plus a specialised bra fitting service and pant hemming.
With a focus on running products, the store will feature Nike+ Trial Zones; an immersive space that features a Nike+ Run treadmill dedicated to trialling running footwear.
In a Nike Australia first, the store also features sneaker cleaning and protection services.
Brant Hirst, Nike marketing director told us that the vast amount of construction works currently underway in the Sydney CBD had not been a concern in the development of the new George Street location.
“The heritage facade and multiple levels of the building provided the perfect canvas for a premium shopping experience for our customers,” he said.
“Having a high street store in an emerging shopping precinct was also a major drawcard of the space.”
Despite several commentators continuing to forecast the demise of bricks and mortar retailing, Hirst said the new flagship would be “powered by immersive product experiences” and in-store experts.
“This store centres around elevating every athlete’s potential and offering customers personalised experiences, whether they’re training for a marathon, or want the latest in sports style.”
When asked if we could expect to see more larger flagships in other locations across Australia and New Zealand, Hirst said that Nike was “always looking at ways to innovate and offer premium shopping experiences for our customers.”
Nike also recently confirmed it is launching a pilot program to sell sneakers on Amazon, in a move to combat counterfeiters and unsolicited third-party sales conducted online.
In a call with analysts, Nike CEO Mark Parker said that Amazon would carry “a limited Nike product assortment” of footwear, apparel, and accessories, and that the sports brand was seeking to improve its presence on the e-commerce site while also protect its brand reputation.
Meanwhile, the race is on within sports retailing in Australia.
British retailer, JD Sports currently has three stores trading in Australia at Melbourne Central, Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast and Parramatta in Sydney’s western suburbs. Two further stores will open soon at Miranda in Sydney and Highpoint in Melbourne.
The Lancashire-based company has more than 1,200 stores under a portfolio of sports fashion and outdoor brands throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.
Decathlon, the French retailer, has established an Australian online sales platform and expects to open its first store in the Sydney suburb of Tempe in October.
The retailer has more than 1,000 stores in almost 30 countries and has notionally set a target of 100 stores for the Australian market.
More recently, Super Retail Group decided to discontinue Amart Sports and convert its 65 stores into Rebel Sport as part of a consolidation strategy designed to defend against the entry of Amazon, Decathlon and JD Sports.