NIKE, NIKE, NIKE, NIKE, NIKE, NIKE, NIKE…
I don’t remember the last time I’ve been to a Nike outlet store – it is certainly more than a decade. If you had asked me about Nike town on Michigan Avenue, that’s a much more familiar visit for a bloke who sometimes gets his kicks by traversing the Mag Mile.
Anyway, after frequenting the smaller Adidas store on the other side of the Premium Outlet Mall in Pleasant Prairie, the Nike outlet store was a nice respite. It goes without saying that Nike would be crowded on a Sunday afternoon in late April although with high ceilings and plenty of floor space, it was airy and comfortable and I felt relaxed enough to browse for some running apparel.
So I maneuver over to the men’s section and I notice several associates milling about. Good to see – help is not far away as I’m sure I’ll need it. Mind you, being the curious type and not necessarily interested in reviewing the spaciousness of their changing rooms, I pose my initial question about how their L and XL running short sizes correspond to overall clothing sizes. She shrugged her shoulders and shook her head – perhaps another associate would have a different response? Another associate did have a clear picture on my needs and I’m glad I asked as I later learned that some running shorts don’t always correspond to typical clothing sizes.
Time for round two. The last time I purchased running clothes was late in the 20th century so I had a few questions about the fabric and durability. I asked a smiling female associate if the fabric in those running shorts was shrink resistant and she sort of fumbled with the response and I told her it was OK if she unsure on how the material would react to the American laundering process. She just smiled and eventually got an acceptable response from another associate more familiar with this subject.
My last question was posed to a new associate who looked like she had just come off of break. I was looking for heavy-duty running shorts with rear pockets. Many moons ago, when Nike was popular but not a global giant, I had rear pocket running shorts which gave me options in warm weather to double as swim trunks as I’d secure valuables in my rear pocket. I was compelled to ask after finding none, I posed this question towards two associates chatting with one another. They both look at me like I had two heads. They really didn’t but just smiled as they didn’t know how to field such a question. It became apparent that they were either new to Phil Knight’s empire or hadn’t run into a quirky and curious consumer with such a question.
Even though the line to pay for merchandise was long, having 5 or 6 cashiers servicing customers meant they were doing what they could to make one’s shopping experience nice at Nike. I appreciated the fact that Nike customers on that day would receive a $5 gift card at completion if they complete a survey about their shopping experience. I guess I took the road less traveled as I wrote a personal account instead.
As I left the store, associates were appreciative for my shopping at a store headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon – both the start and end of my shopping experience was positive. As I walked past the large glass windows outside the store, it was nice to see the Steve Prefontaine poster hanging in the window. Go Pre!