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Nike Eyes a Premium Opportunity in Europe

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Nike (NKE) opens first women’s store in London

On May 22, Nike (NKE) opened its first store retailing exclusively to women in London, United Kingdom. The 207-meter retail destination is located in swanky Chelsea on King’s Road. This is Nike’s third women’s-only store and its first in Europe. Last November, the world’s largest sporting gear firm opened stores for women in Newport Beach, California, and Shanghai, China.

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Store attractions

Shoppers are beginning to demand more from specialized retail destinations, which face ever-increasing competition from online alternatives. In fact, Nike itself has a vibrant online presence.

One of the striking things about the new Nike store is that it also acts as a fitness hub. Specialized store services include the Nike Run Club and Nike+ Training Club classes. The store’s digital booking system allows customers to book training and running slots at various locations across town. The store also plans to host one-off events to mark key developments in the world of sport and style.

The new women’s-only store is much larger and has greater product selection than the women’s section in Niketown on London’s Oxford Street. Changing rooms feature three different lighting themes, allowing customers to view products in the morning, afternoon, and evening light. The new store also offers customized services such as gait analysis and shoe personalization—either online or with a NikeiD consultant. Some of these are also available at the Niketown, and the latter also features men’s and youth products.

The competition

Nike has a prominent rival in the vicinity. A short walk away on the same thoroughfare, Nike’s competitor in women’s wear, Lululemon Athletica (LULU), also has a store, catering to both men and women.

In this series, we’ll look at the key trends shaping the sportswear industry. And we’ll explore why sports gear companies such as Nike (NKE), Under Armour (UA), VF Corporation (VFC), and Lululemon Athletica (LULU) are expanding their opportunity set to pursue above-average growth opportunities.

NKE is among the top ten holdings in the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY), with 3% weight.

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