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New 'Nike by Eugene' store takes the Swoosh brand back to where it all started

As the old saying goes, “You can’t go home again,” but apparently, no one told Nike (NKE). The sportswear giant has chosen its birthplace of Eugene, Oregon, as the site of its newest brick-and-mortar retail location.

The new Nike Live store, which will be known as “Nike by Eugene,” looks to pay homage to legendary athletes like runner Steve Prefontaine who helped build the brand started by Phil Knight into a household name.

The Nike Live store concept is small-format inspired by the local neighborhood in which it stands, and the Eugene location will be only the 4th city in the world with a Live store, joining those in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and New York.

03 JULY 1971:  Steve Prefontaine in action running in the dual meet of the US vs. USSR (Soviet Union) All-Stars in Berkeley, CA. Prefontaine won his 5000 meter race in a time of 13:30.4 - a new American record.; Photo:  © Rich Clarkson / Rich Clarkson & Assoc.
03 JULY 1971: Steve Prefontaine in action running in the dual meet of the US vs. USSR (Soviet Union) All-Stars in Berkeley, CA. Prefontaine won his 5000 meter race in a time of 13:30.4 - a new American record.; Photo: © Rich Clarkson / Rich Clarkson & Assoc.

According to the Swoosh brand, the new store will honor Nike’s deep history in innovation and performance, providing a futuristic “lab-like” space.

Nike By Eugene customers will connect with a Nike by Eugene store athlete 1:1 through SMS messaging by texting (541) 686-3141, a feature that the brand is calling Swoosh Text.

Consumers will also be able to ship products from the Nike store itself. Nike says this will allow for products to get into the hands of sneakerheads, athletes, and athleisure consumers more quickly and efficiently.

Sustainability will also be a key part of the Eugene location. The store will be a LEED-certified location in concert with Nike’s shift toward zero carbon and zero waste called Move to Zero.

Nike by Eugene —NIKE
Nike by Eugene —NIKE

But perhaps the new store’s most unique feature is the Nike Unlock box: an in-store digital vending machine that offers new unlocks for Nike members every month. Customers will use their Member Pass located within the Nike App to redeem these free products and gifts.

Nicole Otto, VP of Nike Direct North America, tells Yahoo Finance that Eugene’s new location is just the first of new retail offerings coming from the Swoosh brand this year.

“With the opening of Nike by Eugene, we’re excited to expand our Nike Live retail concept into a third city in North America. This store, located in Nike’s birthplace of Eugene, Oregon, honors our deep history and heritage while also serving consumers with the best of Nike’s innovation and seamless online-to-offline experiences. We’re looking forward to continuing to scale this retail concept to new markets throughout 2021 and beyond.”

The Nike by Eugene location opens on January 21.

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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