LADIES FIRST AT NEW NIKE STORE

Byline: Kristin Young

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Nike is stepping up its commitment to expand its women’s business by opening NIKEgoddess, the first women’s-only store that opened here at the Fashion Island shopping center earlier this month.
But the Beaverton, Ore.-based activewear maker expects something in return: product feedback.
Pamela Neferkara, director of retail presentation. “It’s part of a larger effort at Nike to speak to her and to produce products for her and just address her needs all around.”
Nike plans to keep a close watch on female consumers by training the store’s sales associates to ask for feedback on style, performance and comfort of products. Consumers also are encouraged to fill out a questionnaire at the point of sale. The information will not only be used on the development of new products, but will be made available to other retailers that carry Nike merchandise.
The more masculine multifloored NikeTown stores, now counting 13 across the U.S., including three in California, kept a loose pulse on what consumers wanted, according to Neferkara. Consumers are more responsive to new designs and products at the smaller, boutique-like Goddess store, she added.
The 6,000-square-foot unit was designed by Nike design director John Hoke in a mid-century residential aesthetic. Dark wood and stark white origami-like white lamps offset a blue glass mosaic tile runway that arches down from the ceiling. The arch is emblazoned with an orange Nike swoosh.
More than half of the store is dedicated to apparel — traditional exercise garb and fashion items. Watches, eyewear, footwear, bags, scarves, gloves and socks are also offered.
A second store will open in West Hollywood, Calif., in March.

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