Welcome to the circus

NikeTown London has been long-awaited in the UK design and retail communities. The high profile flagship store will set the pace for its European rivals.

Nike brand creative director John Hoke says the interiors of the store have been designed by Nike’s in-house team to reflect juxtapositions found in London’s architecture. Nike couldn’t make any alterations to the exterior of the Crown Estate building.

Individual areas inside meet at odd angles and the store also has branded manhole covers to sign different departments. Unwanted pillars have been left intact to prevent the store crashing into London Underground’s Victoria Line.

Retail display density has been kept low, leaving plenty of space to plug the Nike brand (for example, handrails sport the trademark “swoosh”). Inspirational messages, building on the “Just do it” Nike philosophy, make up a multimedia spectacle displayed on the drum-like core of the building.

Correctly-sized products can be delivered through transparent glass tubes, allowing staff members to remain with customers. At night the tubes will be illuminated; shoppers walking past the store, in London’s Oxford Circus, will have an interesting view.

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