Nike’s “House of Innovation” tipped to inspire start-ups

The London Olympics could be a boon for start-ups as they draw inspiration from major retailers such as Nike, which is allowing shoppers to compete against each other in virtual games.


In order to capitalise on the Olympics hype, Nike teamed up with high-end department store Selfridges London, which is hosting the NIKE House of Innovation until August 12.


This futuristic space allows consumers to trial and purchase the latest digitally-enabled Nike products as well as limited-edition sports-inspired lifestyle collections.


The space is split into several distinctive zones, featuring interactive experiences designed to encourage and reward movement.


“The NIKE House of Innovation at Selfridges offers an inspiring experience for our shoppers,” Anita Barr, director of menswear at Selfridges, said in a statement.


“Through cutting-edge technology, interactive customer experiences and a unique product offering from the world’s premier sports brand – the experience… will absolutely deliver that.”


In the House of Innovation, consumers can compete against each other in virtual running and jumping games, in the hope of encouraging them to purchase some athletic gear.


Of course, Nike isn’t the only retailer seeking to cash in on the Olympics hype. Coca Cola has erected a giant installation, dubbed the Coca-Cola Beatbox, in London Olympic Park.


The structure invites visitors to touch it to make a “musical collage” of sporting sounds, such as a trainer’s heartbeat and sneakers squeaking on a court.


Brian Walker, managing director of The Retail Doctor Group, told StartupSmart retailers shouldn’t underestimate the importance of creating a meaningful customer experience.


“In addition to focusing on the customer experience, build up the retail experience with effective displays, attractive shop fronts, and change,” Walker says.


“Always create change to keep the customer coming back.”


The news comes on the back of the latest retail trade figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which shows a monthly boost of 1% in June following a rise of 0.8% in May.


Russell Zimmerman, of the Australian Retailers Association, says the boost can be attributed to the colder weather, and will be welcome news for retailers in discretionary spend categories.


“Cool weather in the southern states continues to be a reason for the spike in trade figures we have seen,” Zimmerman says.


“Categories which rely on consumer discretionary spend, such as department stores, clothing and footwear, and household goods, have again enjoyed a boost.”


“We are encouraged by these figures and hope this is the start of a longer growth trend, [but] we are still some way off the halcyon days of strong consistent growth.”


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