In the Hongdae neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea, Nike has debuted a new type of store, and this one comes with features right out of the metaverse. The Nike “Style” store explores the mix between digital and physical spaces, a relationship the retail giant calls digital-physical, with two components:
- QR Codes that lead to augmented reality experiences in the store itself
- A content studio where shoppers can create videos and photos for their social media channels
The mesh between the physical and digital is right out of Nike’s 2020 coronavirus pandemic playbook, where the focus was less on physical traffic in stores but not on driving traffic to online selling points through different media channels.
The digital-physical mesh may be a bid to appeal to Gen Z. Nike employs another method in the Nike “Style” store to do this: gender-agnostic clothing that can fit a variety of body types.
The Seoul, South Korea, store opened on July 15th in a neighborhood known for its connection to the arts and sneaker culture. Nike plans to open another “Style” store in Shanghai, China, in the fall of 2022.
NFT enthusiasts may recognize Nike’s receptiveness to new technology by purchasing crypto-native company RTFKT, which started creating NFT sneakers for collectors during the pandemic. Whatever Nike’s Web3 moves are, it seems interested in metaverse technology and wants to engage with a younger audience.
Nike Makes Moves in Web3
Since buying RTFKT for an undisclosed amount, Nike has been very active in Web3. Here are three moves it has made in the space in 2022, starting with the purchase of a popular Ethereum Name Service domain.
About two months ago, Nike bought “Dotswoosh.eth” to capture more Web3 attention. It purchased the domain name for 19.72 ETH or around $35,000, and it made the deal through subsidiary RTFKT. The “19.72” purchase price is a subtle nod to 1972 when Nike introduced the “swoosh” as its marketing symbol.
Then, on April 22nd of this year, RTFKT made its first deliberate Nike move, creating an ad for the new Nike Dunk Genesis NFTs. These “CryptoKicks” were compatible with another RTFKT collection called “Skin Vials.” To create each NFT shoe’s design, an NFT collector could load the “skin vial” onto the Nike Dunk Genesis NFT, giving it an interesting appearance.
Finally, six months ago, Nike got the ball rolling on metaverse hires with its open position for a “director of metaverse engineering.” With that position, Nike sent out a call looking for four others, including a “principal innovation engineer for the metaverse” and a “virtual material designer.”
Like the examples above, Nike’s new “Style” store in Seoul shows the company’s willingness to adopt new technologies, whether to target younger customers or beat its competitors to the punch.