Back in January, when I was in NYC for the NRF retail tech show, I went with a friend to the Nike House Of Innovation store on Fifth Avenue.
It was very whiz-bangy in terms of lots of screens, off the wall content and a giant sonic tower thingie … which did, ummm, something.
I THINK – really pretty sure – I went into that same store on Friday. And a year after the store opened, some of the stuff I saw back then seemed to be different, or gone.
The main level had a big LED curved wall, but no counter. There was a pair of large LED displays, suspended at angles like suspended TVs at an airport, hanging in the large, open stairwell. But the units were not on. And they seemed to be where the sonic tower thingie was …
This is what that main area looked like back in January. The LEDs were misbehaving, and using white backgrounds did not help.
My question for New Yorkers in retail tech: Has the store already been re-done? (I wrote back in January the screen tech was a bit of a cluster****) Or was I in a different Nike House of Innovation? (Don’t think so).
If it has changed already, I’m impressed. A lot of retailers, having spent an ocean freighter of money on their flagship, would just let it ride for two-three years. Not all innovations turn out as planned or hoped, so the brave thing to do is a design and tech reset.
Anyone know what’s going on?
Side note – I also checked out the Puma flagship on 5th Avenue. Another technical mess. The big Wow Factor Skill Cube thing was offline and a “magic” mirror was down for the count.
What is it about sports retail designers who have a need to go nuts with tech? A cranky NYC friend, who makes me seem like Mister Rogers, recently sent me pix of a Foot Locker flagship awash in dumb parlor tricks like those spinny LED wands (which, surprise, were not working).
Brand image is obviously a huge thing in that sector, but if a lot of that falls on tech, then it has to work and have some relevance and utility for shoppers.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.