Nike’s ever-growing retail arm expanded last week with the opening of its first Rise concept store in North America. Located in Miami’s Aventura Mall, the new door combines a tech-forward retail approach with a focus on athletes in the community.
After previously opening Rise locations in Guangzhou (China), Seoul (South Korea), and West London, the Miami store brings Nike’s futuristic shopping vision to the United States. For the city’s predominantly Latinx population (which accounts for over 70 percent of Miami residents), the store also serves as a beacon of representation.
“What’s beautiful about this particular store is that it brings to life how we’re going to be bringing in consumer insights [and] how we’re helping our consumers see themselves reflected in the store experiences based on what’s happening in Miami,” says Vanessa Garcia-Brito, Nike’s VP of North America communications. “That goes all the way from ensuring that they’re getting the service that they’re seeking in dual-language, whether it’s English or Spanish, to ensuring that there is programming, experiences, and organizations that we’re supporting from a grassroots level to everyday sports for our everyday athletes.”
In addition to Nike’s standard stores and factory outlets, Rise is one of four distinct concept doors operated by the Swoosh in North America. Joining the smaller, community-centric Live and Unite concepts and the flagship-esque House of Innovation, Rise is unique in that it relies on technology not only in its forward-facing presentation, but to inform its selection and better cater to customers.
Like the previous Rise locations, the Miami store is heavily digitally driven, leaning into Nike’s vision for the future of retail. On both floors, shoppers are greeted with massive LED displays that can alternate between city-specific fitness data, sports scores, product campaigns, and more—a feed Nike calls Sport Pulse. On our visit, the Sports Pulse screens featured maps of the Miami-Dade area charting the progress of Nike Run Club members down to precise data, such as total minutes run and the most-traveled routes.
Beyond the blown-up screens, the Miami Rise location uses technology to make the shopping experience more efficient. There are ease-of-use components like digital returns, the ability to pick up online purchases in store, and even Nike’s first walk-up service window. There are also “scan to learn” QR codes for items on the floor to help customers get familiar with what they’re browsing.
Product-wise, Aventura aims to outfit the full family with men’s and women’s floors as well as a kid’s section. It highlights performance gear, namely running, training, and basketball, but also includes a selection of lifestyle and Air Jordan options. The store also offers onsite Nike By You personalization on sneakers and apparel 365 days a year, making it just the second North American location to offer the option year-round. The service, which is often only featured at stores temporarily, allows customers to choose from an assortment of exclusive graphics for instant customization.
For the grand opening, Nike worked with local Miami artist Ruth Burotte to offer exclusive designs inspired by her childhood.
Although it plans to open several more Rise stores throughout North America in 2023 and 2024, Nike has been extremely selective with its locations thus far. According to David Kelsay, VP of North America stores at Nike, a combination of factors made Aventura the ideal candidate for the new opening.
“When you look at sport and what it means to this city and this community, it only makes sense that Nike would come here,” Kelsay says. “Miami gives sport and Nike brings sport. We looked at that, combined with our member data and how they are engaged, there was no question [the next Rise store] was going to be Aventura.”