This is what the pigeons think of the Nike Concept Store at the V&A

Damian wrote this…

The Nike Concept Store.

The bird shit on this sign perfectly sums up my experience at the Nike Concept Store at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

It is hard to imagine what the ‘concept’ of the Nike Concept Store actually is? After visiting it, I can only imagine it is an attempt to create the world’s most sterile and soulless retail space.

Saturday afternoon at the Waterfront (the most visited ‘attraction’ in Africa apparently) and the concept store is dead. Mind shatteringly distorted European techno blasts out of the woeful sound system. When my mind has adjusted to the unpleasant noise, I am confronted with a totally bland retail space that contains Nike’s typi.jpgcal low-end product range.

I’m there to buy some Airforce 1s so I head straight for the footwear section. I can quickly see that there are only 4 colourways to choose from and nothing from the premium range. I can quickly see that there is nothing of any interest to me.

By this time I have 3 depressed looking assistants hovering moribundly around me. As I start walking away one of them asks, “Leaving so soon?”, to which I reply, “You’ve got quite a limited range.”. “Oh. OK.”, she responds.

There was something so painfully sterile and depressingly dead about the ‘concept’ store that I couldn’t actually wait to get out. The only thing missing was the sound of the wind blowing a tumbleweed through the desolate space. For some reason it actually made me angry.

What is Nike South Africa thinking? Why are they so hopelessly out of touch? They have the opportunity to lead the way by creating an exciting, vibrant and iconic concept space and instead they just reproduce a tired old-fashioned formula.

This is Nike’s flagship store in Cape Town. Where’s the buzz? Where’s the excitement? Where’s the theatre? In the Airforce 1, Nike has one of the most iconic and desireable product ranges ever created. They also have a long association with Hip Hop culture and sports celebrities. Why is this not exploited?

I realise that most of the Airforce 1 range is out of the price range of the average South African, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a display as a kind of permanent art gallery to generate buzz, and plug into and promote the cult status of the shoe. ‘Sneaker culture’ is a huge worldwide phenomenon with galleries hosting exhibitions of customised shoes and other homages to the Airforce 1.

A concept store should be more than just a space to sell product, it should be a brand experience.

Some ideas:
– Live DJs
– Live performances by rappers / singers
– Live performances by breakdancers
– Permanent exhibition of Airforce 1 range
– Rare or customised Airforce 1s
– Wider product range and colourways (Airmax 90s etc)
– Host exhibitions (sponsor local artists to customise shoes)
– Juice bar
– Personal appearances by local/ international footballers
– Train dynamic, knowledgeable staff
– Basketball demonstrations / 1 on 1 competitions
– More radical interior design
– Interactive displays
– Expert clinics (ie. running, nutrition etc.)

Our Readers Comments

  1. Mann yall just keep doin it main i like these shoes i thank any shoes yall come out with are bad so i mean just keep makin ‘em and ima keep buyin ‘em

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