Nike is to open its first company-owned flagship store in New Zealand, leasing space in the heart of the Auckland CBD.
Details of the store’s interior design are scarce at this point, but the brand’s lease of the ground floor of the HB building on Queen Street has been revealed by the New Zealand Herald.
Nike’s ‘Live’ concept was unveiled in 2019 with two stores, one in Long Beach California (pictured above) and the other in Japan following an 18-month-long pilot in West Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue. At the time – before Covid-19 impacted retailing worldwide – the sportswear brand said it would roll the concept out “on a global scale”.
In Auckland, the brand has chosen the 110-year-old heritage building which originally served as Hallenstein Brothers headquarters and, according to the Herald, has undergone a $15 million refurbishment and strengthening overseen by Morton Properties.
If it follows the Live concept overseas, the store will feature a product range edited to suit the Kiwi demographic.
“Nike Live is the result of a singular vision: to design the most locally-relevant experience out there leveraging digital with personal service,” said Cathy Sparks, VP/GM of Global Nike Direct stores & service at the time of the Long Beach store’s opening.
“The success of our Melrose pilot has us so excited to expand this groundbreaking concept to new communities, with stores that offer our members convenience and the joy of sport in spaces built just for them.”
Nike said each Nike Live offers a “one-of-a-kind, digitally-enabled space, specifically designed and curated to provide the ultimate localised brick-and-mortar shopping experience”.
One feature of the Long Beach store is an expanded Nike Sneaker Bar that blends a service counter with a personalised shoe-buying experience, offering more than 100 pairs of lifestyle and performance footwear. Shoppers can chat one-on-one with a store athlete or pick up products reserved or purchased online.
Nike’s decision to open its own store in Auckland was widely expected after a 10-year agreement with reseller Bryan Eible ended in January. In recent years, Eible had operated the Nike Britomart store.