Nike Inc. is looking to open a downtown store that aims to be “community-oriented” and one that hires at least 80 percent of its workers within a five-mile radius of the store.
The iconic American brand is interested in building a “community store” in a former Woolworth’s at 1261 Woodward, according to information the company filed to a nonprofit recently.
The three-story historic building is across the street from the empty Hudson’s block, which is slated to be the future home to a landmark-quality new structure with retail, office and residential. The ground floor of the building Nike is interested in was used for the recent pop-up “Somerset Collection.”
The size of the potential Nike store — 19,500 square-feet — means it may be slightly bigger than its average outlet store but far smaller than its bedazzling flagship seen in upscale urban shopping areas. The proposed store is similar in size to the Whole Foods store in Midtown, which is 21,500 square feet.
On Monday, Crain’s Detroit Business reported Nike’s application to a nonprofit that certifies “green” building, which essentially means the company hopes to operate an environmentally friendly store. The application to the U.S. Green Building Council shows Nike has labeled the potential Detroit shop as a “community store.”
That means the store will “empower a healthy local community through the unifying power of sport and to serve as a catalyst for positive change by partnering with local organizations,” according to the company’s website. All Nike community stores have local hiring initiatives with the goal of hiring at least 80 percent of store employees from within a five-mile radius of the store.
There is no public confirmation of the plans by the company or the building’s owner. The Woodward Avenue building is owned by billionaire Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services, which controls more than 80 downtown buildings. Bedrock says it’s company policy not to comment on speculation. And representatives for the Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike also didn’t comment.
Nike is an international brand of athletic shoes, apparel and sports equipment. On Thursday, the publicly-traded company reports its fiscal first-quarter 2016 results. Analysts, on average, anticipate Nike’s revenue will climb 2.9 percent year over year, to $8.21 billion, while earnings are expected to rise 9.2 percent to $1.19 per share.