Nike to open its own store at Easton

Columbus Business First

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 20: A Nike logo is seen at the Nike flagship store on 5th Ave. on December 20, 2019 in New York City. Revenue in the North American market, which accounts for the majority of Nikes sales, rose 5% from a year ago. The company said its Jordan brand had its first ever billion-dollar quarter. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Nike is running to Easton to open a standalone store – its first in Central Ohio.

The athletic shoe giant has posted signs for the new store to open in the former Restoration Hardware space at 3964 Townsfair Way on the prominent corner near Easton’s main square.

The company has also posted job ads for managers at the new store, which has an opening date sometime this spring, according to the signs.

An Easton spokeswoman directed inquiries to Nike, which did not immediately return requests for comment. It is the company’s first location inside I-270. It does have Nike Factory Outlet locations in the Tanger Outlets at Jeffersonville and Sunbury.

Nike has accelerated its focus on direct sales, which rose to $4 billion last quarter. The company’s pivot to selling directly to customers in stores and online has proven popular, according to our sister paper Portland Business Journal.

“Nike physical stores are another key enabler to drive our consumer direct acceleration,” Nike CFO Matthew Friend said during a March 18 earnings call. “New retail concepts  … will create distinctive, authentic and premium Nike consumer experiences in the marketplace. They will accelerate Nike member acquisition at scale, while unlocking higher retail productivity.”

This move, though, has hurt other retailers that sell its shoes, notably Columbus’ own Designer Brands Inc., parent of DSW Shoe Warehouse. Nike reportedly has cut ties with DSW and some other stores, like Urban Outfitters, as it brings these sales in-house.

Nike CEO John Donahoe said in that March earnings call that its store locations would take on new importance, while making room for a stronger store presence.

“I think you’ll see even more movement from undifferentiated retail into a smaller number of partners and our own stores that provide that seamless premium experience,” Donahoe said. 

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