The year: 1964. The place: Southern California.
If you were a runner in search of new shoes, Jeff Johnson of Blue Ribbon Sports was your man. Doing business out of the trunk of his car and his Seal Beach apartment, it soon became evident that a retail store was necessary. The goal of the store was to create an atmosphere where runners could meet, compare times, regimens and trials, exchange stories and ideas, and learn more about the shoes. In the years to come, Blue Ribbon Shoes became Nike, and in 1990, the very first NIKETOWN was opened, still operating on the same philosophy as that very first retail store.
NIKETOWN was first created to act as a sort of museum to athletes, a place where they can be honored and their achievements celebrated. Over the years, it has grown into a multi-category, retail-oriented brand experience. At a NIKETOWN, athletes of all stripes can find the footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories necessary to reach their goals. The environment features powerful multimedia and archival displays of moments from Nike’s storied history and partnerships, along with a knowledgeable staff of customer service representatives.
Nike continues to evolve the retail experience with the Nike Factory Store and Running Doors. Nike Factory Stores take the premium experience of a NIKETOWN and applies it to the outlet concept. Running Doors is a new Nike concept, one that celebrates the culture of running on and off the track. Here, young runners can find the footwear, sportswear, equipment and support necessary to help them achieve their goals. It’s a store, much like the very first Blue Ribbon Shoes store, that is designed to be as much about service as it is product.
Since its inception, Nike has proven time and again to be the leader in innovative retail experiences. Only time will tell what the next Nike innovation will be.