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Nike's retail expansion: 15th California store open and 250 to 300 new stores planned globally

November 10, 2010 |  6:43 pm

Nike Inc. has set in motion a plan to expand its global retail foothold by opening 250 to 300 new stores over the next five years. ViewMedia

That expansion includes a Nike Factory Store that opened at the Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The new store is Nike's 15th factory store in California. Nike currently has 155 factory stores open in the U.S.

Nike's expansion plan calls for a mix of discount-minded Nike Factory Stores in outlet malls and Niketown stores, which sell newer and exclusive items and are often found in upscale shopping centers, according to a statement from Nike.

The Citadel Outlets store is one of five Nike Factory Stores being opened this year across the U.S., said Jeff Nichols, general manager of North American Nike Factory Stores. The other four opened in Alabama, Washington, North Carolina and Utah, he said.

"The global plan is to open hundreds of new stores over the next five years, but for the factory stores, our plan is to open about five a year in the U.S.," Nichols said.

The Citadel Outlets store is Nike's first two-story factory store, he said.

"The biggest difference in the Los Angeles store, versus any other factory store, is that we'll have an entire floor devoted to women and youth athletes," Nichols said. "We're open next to an H&M, which is a two-story store, and the location provided us with a unique opportunity to have a two-story factory store that we've never really had before."

Consumers won't find the latest Nike sneakers or Air Jordans at the Nike Factory Store. Instead, the factory stores sell products left over from past seasons at prices discounted from when the items first arrived in other retail stores. The factory stores stock casual clothing, as well as products for sports such as running, training, soccer and basketball.

Niketown stores focus on selling newer footwear and apparel. Select Niketown stores, such as one in New York near Central Park, feature NIKEiD studios, where consumers can choose custom colors and materials on shoes made to order.

As a part of Nike's increased retail efforts, the company recently remodeled a Niketown location in London, expanding it to 42,000 square feet and adding a NIKEiD studio. The London Niketown store spans four floors and is the company's largest.

The Citadel Outlets Nike Factory Store will be pretty big too, measuring 17,624 square feet -- much larger than the average Nike outlet store, which is about 10,000 square feet, Nichols said.

Nike is holding grand-opening events at the Citadel Outlets factory store Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with door prizes, gift card giveaways and an autograph and question-and-answer session with Lisa Leslie, a former player for the Los Angeles Sparks women's basketball team and Olympic gold medalist.

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles