Nike launches first women's store

A look inside Nike's women's only store in Newport Beach, Ca. (source: Nike, inc)
A look inside Nike’s women’s only store in Newport Beach, Ca. (Source: Nike Inc)

The rise of women’s fitness continues with Nike launching its first women’s store in Newport Beach, Calif.

The 6,000-plus-square-foot store will feature clothing for both professional competitive athletes as well as aesthetically pleasing gear for casual wear. Nike will still be focused on its fitness identity by offering in-house yoga and training classes as well as guest speakers and special events in the hopes of establishing a robust community experience.

This growing emphasis on female fitness and apparel stems from Lululemon and Under Armour’s recent female-focused campaigns. Under Armour’s “Womanifesto” with Gisele Bündchen, Misty Copeland and Lindsey Vonn targets women and seeks to capture market share from rival Lululemon, a company that has been very successful in the female apparel category.

To make a statement about its emphasis on women, Nike last month cast 27 top female athletes for a runway show featuring its upcoming spring line. The message was clear: Nike wants to win womenswear. “There’s more opportunity now than ever before,” Nike chief executive officer Marc Parker said. As he explained, “Sport and fitness are powering a new lifestyle shift for women around the world.”

Eighteen percent of Nike’s revenue comes from female customers, a number the Oregon manufacturer hopes to expand by 40 percent over the next four years. According to Forbes, Under Armour, Nike’s biggest rival, attributes about 30 percent of its $3 billion in sales to women.

Though Nike plans to launch a second women’s store in Shanghai next week, it plans to monitor the success of the Newport Beach location before approving U.S. expansion. With an estimated brand value of $19 billion, a successful expansion into women’s athletic apparel will only strength Nike’s position.

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