Nike expands focus on women with London store

“The store will offer a wide range of Nike services, both physical and digital, with all products geared to expanding and improving the women of London’s athletic potential,” said a spokeswoman.

Women’s wear has been a top category for the sportswear retailer, which has benefited from the “athleisure” trend in which athletically styled footwear and clothes have risen in popularity among consumers who aren’t necessarily working out. Nike’s sales of women’s products like tights and bras reached $5 billion last fiscal year.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive Mark Parker in March said Nike’s women’s business globally is outpacing sales of its men’s products and “continues to grow at a really rapid pace.”

At the 2,228-square-foot London store, Nike will offer services like pant hemming, gait analysis and bra-fitting appointments. It wants the store to act as a “fitness hub” for the King’s Road area, allowing customers to attend free training classes and participate in running groups.

The company has embarked on a range of different initiatives aimed at wooing more women in the U.S. Nordstrom recently teamed up with the brand for a limited time to sell brightly colored Nike sneakers, water bottles and sports bras at eight locations. Nike also has shops-within-shops dedicated to women’s clothing at some Macy’s Inc.M -1.26% stores and has set up studios offering free workouts meant for female athletes.

Dedicated full stores for women, though, are a relatively new thing. The London store is Nike’s fourth such one, with the company in November opening two women’s stores in California’s Newport Beach and one in Shanghai.

The stores are unlikely to contribute much in revenue, said Matt Powell, a sports-industry analyst for NPD Group. “It’s much more of a branding story than a sales story,” he said. “It’s about showing the consumer the full breadth of the Nike brand, and the intent is she will buy more Nike gear over time.”

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