New Nike store makes a play for East L.A. shoppers

nike facade near whittier boulevard arch

Nike swoosh rises above Whittier Boulevard

Storefront ReportEAST LOS ANGELES —  Many of Nike’s flashy stores are located in high-end shopping centers or affluent communities, like The Grove in the Fairfax District, Fashion Island in Newport Beach as well as a Niketown in Beverly Hills.  But this week, the athletic footwear and apparel company is opening a store far from those ritzy locales. On Thursday, Nike will hold a grand opening for a new “community store” on Whittier Boulevard in East L.A.

Located amid the mostly mom-and-pop shops and restaurants that cater to Latino shoppers, the Nike store stretches for nearly a block along Whittier Boulevard  at McDonnell Avenue. The orange Nike swoosh logo is mounted on the gray, metal facade within sight of the Whittier Boulevard arch.

What is Nike doing on Whittier Boulevard in predominately Latino and low-income East Los Angeles?

“We know our consumers, and they live all over L.A. County,” said a company spokeswoman. “It was important for us to reach them where they are.”

Nike new East Los Angeles store | Courtesy Nike

Nike’s new East Los Angeles store | Courtesy Nike

In addition to  selling athletic shoes and apparel, Nike officials said they also want their East L.A. community store to establish strong ties to the area through local hiring initiatives, volunteer efforts,  local grant and athletic programs.

It will be a while before Nike’s impact on Whittier Boulevard will be known. The large store could serve as a major anchor, drawing more foot traffic and investment into the shopping strip. But it might also pose competitive challenges for other retailers,  including Skechers and WSS, both of which operate large athletic shoe and apparel stores on Whittier Boulevard.

nike east los shirt

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  1. Skechers and Nike are competitors? Totally different target demographic between the brands.

    Great addition to East Los.

  2. It was about time that a company with a huge brand name puts a store here. Hopefully Kohls and other big companies decide to put more of their stores in this area. There’s a lot of consumers here.

  3. Great addition to a great city,all we need is a voice thanx Nike East Los

  4. I hope we can get a Trader Joe’s, Sprouts or Whole Foods soon 🙂 Adding healthier and organic food options

  5. What makes ela especial it is the fact that we have mom and pop shops. Recently big companies started investing in ela. What would happen? They destroy small local business, source money out, provide lame minimum wage jobs instead of better jobs and would make ela like any other lame modern city. Affluent cities like Malibu and Beverly Hills fight to keep out big corps because they know what’s good.

  6. We should be wary of these big companies. Next thing you know taxes are up, home prices are up and you are living in palmdale or San Bernardino and the demographics in ela have become different. Ela is probably one of the last potential neighborhoods waiting to be exploited in the surrounding vincity. We should appreciate and take care of it. I know these “fancy” stores sound appealing specially to the poor as they make them feel more especial unconsciously but the truth is that they don’t benefit us.We are not even a city taxes go to county.

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