Playing the game: In an effort to become recognized for more than just its size, Nike Orchard Road

SINGAPORE: The largest Nike store in Asia outside of China boasts three floors, 28,000 square feet, and an abundance of stylish footwear.

The Heeren, between Apple Orchard Road and Nike Orchard Road, is home to the Nike Orchard Road, which will open on January 19.

The street-facing store is the most ambitious project the American sportswear giant has undertaken in the region, both in terms of size and its creative approach to retail experiences and sports culture. It is the result of a joint venture between Nike and Middle Eastern global retailer and distributor GMG. This is Singapore’s eighth store for the brand.

Designed to be more than just a store, this massive flagship offers a range of services from Nike’s online-to-offline offerings, such as the ability to return or pick up orders placed on Nike.com or the Nike app, to exclusive digital experiences.

In addition, it is a sports hub that serves all ages of athletes and fitness enthusiasts, with a concentration on women and girls. With a wide selection of bras, leggings, shoes, and lifestyle clothing, it reflects Nike’s dedication to inclusivity and female empowerment in sports.

The first Swoosh Studio in Singapore is located on Nike Orchard Road. The brand uses this area for a variety of purposes and occasionally hosts sports, wellness, and artistic events.

Customers can view and reserve events at the Swoosh Studio by visiting nike.com/sg/membership to sign up for a free Nike membership.

Nike By You, a place where members can customize their in-store purchases with city-exclusive graphics and accessories created by a rotating roster of artists, is located on the third floor. Singaporean designer and illustrator Ella Zheng is one of the current resident artists; spots throughout the store feature her eye-catching artwork.

The Straits Times spoke with Mr. Sanjay Gangopadhyay, vice-president and general manager of Nike South-east Asia and India, in advance of Nike Orchard Road’s opening to learn more about the store.

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What strategic factors led to the decision to locate this flagship store in Singapore?

A significant number of consumers in Singapore have taken a keen interest in sports and physical activity. Since Nike is a company that constantly encourages movement and instills sport in people’s daily lives, this trend aligns perfectly with our goals.

In terms of location, I believe Orchard Road is one of the world’s most sought-after high streets for any brand looking to establish a foothold in Southeast Asia. We therefore have a double chance to present Singapore and the rest of the world with our inventiveness and storytelling.

What knowledge do you have regarding Singaporean sports trends?

A growing number of people are taking up running. It’s arguably the most inclusive sport because it doesn’t require a lot of equipment or facilities. To run, all you need is the right community and the right kind of motivation.

The increase in female participation in sports is the other trend we are witnessing. For this reason, we offer the widest selection of running shoes for both men and women here.

What distinguishes Nike Orchard Road from its rivals and other Nike stores?

A: It’s better described as a sports hub rather than a store. A sports hub is more than just a store, although traditional retail has always been about the exchange of goods and services.

It inspires customers to move more, play more, and play better by fusing the best aspects of innovation and inspiration. They also establish a community that shares the same ethos in the process.

Our goal is to ensure that more women and girls participate in sport as part of our commitment to leveling the playing field for all athletes.

To be a part of the story, you don’t need to come here to purchase goods. We will support you on your journey if you are an avid sports fan. Thus, we are incorporating all of that into what was formerly thought of as a store.

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What elements of hyper-local design are present in the store?

A: One is collaborating with regional artists. The Sport Pulse, a massive screen in the center of the store, is another feature. It displays leaderboards from Nike Run Club, a free app, as well as locations for you to run or watch the upcoming sporting event. The neighborhood can use this area to exchange ideas, spread knowledge, and find inspiration. As we proceed, we will compile the data.

What about inventions and goods designed especially with women and girls in mind?

A: I believe that the biggest innovation in footwear is in running, such as our Alphafly collection, which consists of high-performance running shoes worn by professional athletes.

Additionally, plus sizes, maternity, and period protection products are under consideration. We’re determined to incorporate everything into the shop.

In what ways does the store use digital technology to improve the overall experience of shopping?

A: You can scan the QR codes on the signs to obtain details about the product and its advantages. In order to save you from having to wait in line at a cash register during busy hours, we will also implement mobile checkout.

Sales representatives will be on the move, and you can pay your bill wherever you choose.

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