Nike store to inject new energy into downtown Detroit

Billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert has made it official: A Nike store is coming to downtown Detroit.

Gilbert posted an announcement on his Twitter account Wednesday morning that a two-story, 22,000-square-foot Nike store would open at 1261 Woodward Avenue in spring 2016.

Reports have circulated for months that Nike would open a store downtown, but Gilbert's tweet was the first official confirmation. In his Twitter message, Gilbert said, "Believe. Then see it."

Although Nike's shoes and other athletic products can be purchased at dozens of outlets in Metro Detroit as well as online, a Nike store represents something else again — a spacious upscale lifestyle emporium that often becomes a destination in itself.

In Detroit, it would become the latest upscale retailer along the formerly lackluster stretch of Woodward between Campus Martius and Grand Circus Park. Recent additions to that stretch include the upscale John Varvatos men's clothing store. In the past, the Moosejaw outdoor clothing and equipment store opened nearby.

Nike communications manager Lisa Beachy confirmed the shoe and apparel manufacturer's plans for Detroit .

"We look forward to bringing Nike’s performance products and experiences to downtown Detroit with our sixth Community Store, scheduled to open in 2016," she said. "

By "community store," Nike means a retail site that pays particular attention to the needs of a community and its children.

On its website, Nike says of its community-store concept: "As part of its Community Store model, Nike store employees and Nike’s retail leadership support volunteerism and allocate volunteer hours to sport- and non-sport-related efforts. Store employees, who are known as 'athletes,' will work with kids to drive early, positive experiences with physical activity throughout the community."


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