Recycled marble inlaid with plastic confetti welcomes visitors upon entering, respecting barrier gestures. The American brand Nike had to adapt to the health context of the Covid-19 to calmly open the doors of “PAR / 002” on Thursday, its new Parisian boutique on 4 floors and 2400 m².
The Art Deco building at 79 avenue des Champs-Elysées has been modernized over 4 long years of work which has given rise to a third “House of Innovation” for the American giant.
The “House of Innovation” concept was first established in New York and Shanghai, before opening a first European store in the French capital. Its ambition: to show the technological know-how of the manufacturer of sports accessories, to stage its digital transition and its recent eco-responsible shift. A strategy that aims to attract a young and connected clientele.
“We want to show behind the scenes and the genesis of innovation at home, by highlighting, for example, prototypes designed in collaboration with the athletes”, explains Pierre Ployart, director of digital marketing in Paris.
The “Air Max” has its chronological timeline
The first floor, which overlooks the most beautiful avenue in the world, devotes a beautiful space to the Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT shoes which equipped the Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge during his unapproved world record of less than 2 hours. The showcases display the first sketches and a replica of the famous pair which gives wings.
Sketches and prototypes of the innovative shoe are highlighted from entry / LP / DLC
Historical model of the mark with the comma since 1987, the Air Max has the right to its chronological timeline decorated with examples and limited editions. A real journey through time for the fans.
The showcase traces the evolution of the Air Max since 1987 and its creation inspired by the Center Pompidou / LP / DLC
A little further on, fifteen screens hypnotize the barge. The Mission Control space provides data to local athletes: air pollution or weather conditions.
This impressive wall of screens welcomes the visitor with clocks that display the time of other House of Innovation. / LP / DLC
“We want to take the pulse of sport in the Paris region in an effort to anchor local”, underlines our guide for the day.
A concern of implantation in a large population pool that is found on recycled plastic hangers. The acronym “PAR / 002” is essential on t-shirts or hoodies. In another aisle, a section is devoted to original creations by designers from the Ile-de-France region. Another offers the essential PSG tunics.
These t-shirt lines are from white cards given to local artists / LP / DLC
A detour through the basement leads to the Sneakers Lab where sellers offer to measure the right size thanks to Nike Fit, an express scan of the feet powered… by artificial intelligence. “All our customers contribute with their results to feed an algorithm which determines the right size among our references”, assures the demonstrator.
The experience is naturally extended by trying a pair. The customer takes out his Nike app, flashes a QR code and chooses a model in the exact size that he picks up himself in a dedicated corner. No need to run after a salesperson or wait at the checkout, they can even leave with the shoes they pay for directly in the app.
Will he fall for a pair made entirely from recycled materials? Nothing is less certain, but the Oregon company wants to make an impression and green its image in the process as the textile industry weighs heavily in global pollution.
Several large baskets, for example, collect old pairs of sneakers from all brands which are then sent to Belgium to be transformed and re-enter the industrial circuit for the sake of “circular design”.
The multinational proudly exhibits plastic shavings from shoe recycling / LP / DLC
These polyester confetti were therefore mixed with recycled marble to line the floor and the stairs that lead upstairs to a women’s area where an innovative service, Bra Fit, recommends the best size of sports bra to consumers, to try and of course buy on site.
The space dedicated to women’s running highlights several types of body types / LP / DLC
A few steps away, the Kid Pod awaits children with interactive terminals to encourage them to exercise while parents equip them.
Return to the ground floor of the largest Nike store in Europe to end this immersive sales experience which must also reconcile Parisians with shopping on their Champs-Elysées.