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Volume 26 No. 65
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Foot Locker Partnering With Nike On New Interactive Super Stores

Foot Locker is "teaming with Nike as it rolls out bigger, more interactive stores" that are "four times as big as a typical Foot Locker store in malls," according to Lauren Thomas of CNBC.com. Foot Locker "plans to open upwards of 50 Power stores over the next three years." A roughly 9,000-square-foot store opened in N.Y.'s Washington Heights neighborhood on Saturday, and marks the "first location where Nike has brought some of its proprietary technology into another retailer’s bricks-and-mortar shop." Nike’s loyalty members can "scan a bar code within their Nike app to get free swag like sunglasses, purchase exclusive products and have the chance to win a free pair of sneakers." Nike is Foot Locker’s "biggest brand partner," and Foot Locker is "one of Nike’s biggest wholesalers." Foot Locker said that it "purchased about two-thirds of its merchandise from Nike" in '17 and '18. The new Power store "offers a glimpse at the future" of Foot Locker's business. Mall foot traffic is "falling off" and Foot Locker "knows it needs to reinvent its stores." The new Power store has a "lounge upstairs, with ample seating and flat-screen TVs, for Foot Locker to hold events." Foot Locker has also "brought in several local vendors to sell apparel" (CNBC.com, 8/9).

NEW AGE THINKING: WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY's Sharon Edelson noted Foot Locker is "hoping the store, with its hyper-local focus -- including a mural of landmarks above the facade, and neighborhood references incorporated into the decor inside -- becomes a hub for sneaker culture, art, music and sports, while building a community of like-minded fans." Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker U.S. VP & GM Frank Bracken said, "We’re targeting underserved markets. We think some of these neighborhoods have been overlooked and haven’t had access to the best experiences. We started in Detroit and Philadelphia, where we have a lot of consumer interest in sneaker culture and youth culture, but those areas don’t always get the best from our industry." The next Power store "will open in Compton" in southern L.A., followed by Chicago. Bracken said there will also be "other stores in metropolitan L.A." He added, "We absolutely see places like the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens as potential locations in the future. It’s about understanding where the consumer is and the opportunities and gaps in our portfolio" (WWD.com, 8/11).