At 41,000+ square feet, Nike’s House of Innovation is not the kind of place you pop into for socks. Those who come (and there are a lot) are here for the unique features, like the first-floor clothing line with products exclusive to Shanghai, and the Nike By You customization floor. The latter is a complete lesson in shoe magic, where a flick of the wand changes everything from your laces to embroidery to even more new laces.
There is also the Nike Expert Studio, where you can run on a treadmill to test out shoes, and a pretty flash motion sensor floor situation that looks like a super expensive version of “Just Dance." It has been named “Center Court," and holds workshops and trials for new products. When we went, it was hosting an extension of the Nike By You workshop.
With the House of Innovation Shanghai 001 (and the more recently-opened New York 000 store), Nike is questioning the malleable framework of what a shop can be. Fair enough. Modern companies need originality in their stores to keep people interested, and just a little bit of magic to keep them coming back.
Nike House of Innovation, 829 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Xizang Lu.