Setting the Pace

December 2021 View more

Nike is the biggest athletic retailer in the game, some might say. But its new store footprint in Naperville is small—if you’re going by mere square footage. The new Nike by Naperville on Main Street downtown clocks in at just 4,600 square feet. And that’s all part of the appeal.

“[The store carries] the very best of Nike’s products,” says Frank Ha, VP of North America Nike stores. “Growing Nike stores with this smaller footprint allows us to intimately connect with the community and carry the most meaningful product.” 

The new Main Street location is part of the “Nike Live” fleet of small-format stores focused on localization, personal service, digital integration, and convenience. The downtown Naperville retailer is just the 13th Nike Live store to open since the concept was piloted, and a total of 150 to 200 are in the works.

Running the gamut

Nike’s consumer insights team discovered that the Naperville customer is big into running. So apparel and footwear needed to clock those miles is a sharp focus of the store. Styles like Nike React Infinity Run and the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus get top billing.

Aside from running products, the store carries footwear and apparel specific to training, yoga, and dance, for a start. The store also offers lifestyle merchandise—everything from hoodies and T-shirts to joggers and accessories like hats and bags. Bra fittings and styling sessions also are available.

The vibe inside strikes the right balance for those who love working out just as much as hanging out. Bold pops of color on the walls and carpet are bound to put a Nike pep in your step. And comfy chairs for shoe try-ons, or just relaxing, give the space an athlete’s-living-room vibe.

“When you walk in, we want you to feel that we’ve curated a shopping experience specifically for you with the products you want and the services you need,” says Ha. 

From screen to store

Savvy shoppers can expect a digitally enabled shopping experience fueled by Nike’s digital ecosystem, including and the Nike app. Use the app to reserve a pair of shoes at the store for pickup—you may get an exclusive discount via the app as you walk inside. You can also use the app to scan a product bar code and then request your size to try it on in a fitting room that will be reserved for you.

Nike digital surprises keep coming. The SNKRS Pass, for example, is an exclusive Nike Member Reward found in the SNKRS app, which uses your device’s GPS location to determine if a nearby Nike store has the styles available in the size you want.

Postpurchase, these apps continue to support your training journey by serving up workouts and fitness activities customized for you. 

“We want our stores to inspire all consumers to prioritize wellness and make sport a daily habit,” says Ha. 

Photos courtesy Nike