Retail reset: is Nike’s House of Innovation the answer?



Vogue Paris Nike by Geordie Wood

While it’s doom and gloom in the world of retail (Selfridges is letting 450 staff go), I can’t help believing that there’s still life in the physical retail model. And now is the perfect time for some fresh thinking.

Nike has just built its new Paris flagship, a ‘House of Innovation’ (below) serving as a temple for its most loyal worshippers. As it moves away from the wholesale model to focus on selling directly to these loyalists from its own stores, its goal is to focus on full price products that die-hards don’t mind paying for.

Sounds like a good move. Despite being decidedly unsporty, NikeTown has always been one of my favourite retail destinations. Cathy Sparks, global vice president and general manager of Nike Direct stores hinted that Oxford Street’s NikeTown store will be next for the House of Innovation treatment.

Nike House of Innovation Paris

In other retail news, what happened to curation? A Continuous Lean has this deep dive into how to make J Crew great again, reminiscing about its game-changing days of perfectly chosen brand collabs. Unfortunately, too many competitors leapt onto this playbook bandwagon and J Crew failed to maintain its pace ahead of that curve. Now that retailers are dropping like flies, it would be a good time to see some truly selective buying to help stores stand out in the market. Maybe it’s time for buyers to trust their instincts and not just what’s trending on Instagram.

And another reason online isn’t the be all and end all: bots. Vogue Business reports on the nightmare scenario for accessible luxury brand, Telfar. No sooner had it restocked its signature $150 bags online, than a swarm of bots bought them all and instantly ‘flipped’ them at twice the price, crashing the Telfar site in the process. Not luxe!

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Nike by Geordie Wood for Vogue Paris; Nike House of Innovation Paris
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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