In a post last month on Business Insider, FirstMark Capital’s Amish Jani made the case for bricks-and-mortal retail as an endangered species. Stores targeted according to sales performance, with their own P&L, will give way, Jani argued, to retail spaces as marketing channels whose function is to drive sales in the more efficient online environment.
Right now, that position appears somewhat fanciful, but for some power brands, it’s already very much part of their reality.
Last night Cision was at the re-opening of Nike’s 1948 store. Hidden away in the fashonable backstreets of Shoreditch, East London, 1948 is more marketing concept than money-maker. The site’s primary purpose is for Nike to hold events and collaborative projects to promote limited-edition produce and wider brand ideals.
It is also a social space for Nike’s audience, which last night comprised a significant number of urban fashion’s social media elite, including @OllieDanger and @TheDailyStreet crew. “Part retail outlet, part creative playground”, the 1948 store might be driving formerly real-world sales online, but it’s also bringing Nike’s online networks into the meatspace.