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Nike finds new way for shoppers to talk to staff in Japan

Nike has launched two more stores following its tech-heavy Nike Live template – in California’s Long Beach and Tokyo.

The sports brand continues to innovate in the way that it allows consumers to interact with store staff, particularly in the new 'Shibuya Scramble' shop in the Japanese capital. NikePlus loyalty members will be able to chat directly with store associates via the popular Line messaging platform.

Typically used for personal messaging in Japan – in a way similar to that of WhatsApp in the the west and WeChat in China – Line is a rapidly growing platform of communication among Japan’s consumers. Nike is allowing users to befriend the store through Line, connecting them with the shop team to ask questions.

Whether they have a specific query related to events in the store, or they would like to learn about current store exclusive products is in stock, consumers now have a digital hotline to those working on the shop floor. 

Other tech-enabled features in the store include a digital vending machine stocked with product that members can redeem using their Nike App member pass, as well as digital screens connecting people to Nike-partnered gyms and events throughout Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the Long Beach store has a strong focus on women’s sport, as well as multiple opportunities for visitors to personalise and customise products.

Cathy Sparks, vice president and general manager of global Nike Direct stores and service, said: “Nike Live is the result of a singular vision: to design the most locally-relevant experience out there leveraging digital with personal service.

“The success of our Melrose pilot has us so excited to expand this ground-breaking concept to new communities, with stores that offer our members convenience and the joy of sport in spaces built just for them.”

The first Nike Live opened in Melrose last year, where many of the digital deployments seen in Long Beach and Tokyo have been tested. A key feature of these stores is the continual analysis of local online buying patterns and app usage to ensure the store inventory remains relevant.

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