The Detroit News

The Nike store in Detroit opened its doors to the public on Thursday morning to applause and cheers from Nike Inc. employees.

“We are Nike. We are fun. We are Detroit. We are #1,” chanted store employees, also known as “athletes,” before the doors to 1261 Woodward opened.

The new two-story, 22,000-square-foot store features a mix of outlet merchandise and full-price merchandise, as well as apparel from local sports teams. It is one of seven so-called “community stores” in the United States. Like the others, he is on a mission to serve their cities through volunteer work and the promotion of physical fitness.

Michigan State University basketball head coach Tom Izzo attended the opener with MSU mascot Sparty. Izzo said he believes the Nike brand “is synonymous with greatness” and that community work in Detroit only reinforces that.

“If Detroit is doing well, that means our state is doing better,” Izzo said.

The first 200 Nike customers in the former FW Woolworth building each received a $10 discount at the door. A similar promotion will take place every day until the end of the week, said Nike communications manager Hetér Myers.

The Detroit store is the first to provide grants through the expanded Nike Community Impact Fund. The Detroit store will select eight local nonprofits or schools in November to receive $5,000 each. Applications can be submitted online.

“It was a natural continuation of how we fit into the community,” Myers said. “This is just another example of living and breathing the brand values ​​and creating positive change in the community.”

Detroit resident Marquis Newson arrived at the store at 7:30 a.m., although people were lining up by Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s good for us. The city needs more to lift us up,” Newson said. “Nike is going to bring what Detroit needs.”

Nike and billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate hired Sachse Construction Co. as the contractor for the project. CEO Todd Sachse said Nike’s opening is a “spark” to attract more retailers to Detroit, and he said he expects downtown to start filling up in the next two years.

“We opened many Nike stores across the country,” Sachse said. “They just opened. What is unique to Detroit is that there is a huge crowd, unlike a typical opening. I think other retailers will say, “We have to be part of it. ”

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