Nike Britomart store to shut after a decade

A sports retailer in Auckland CBD heritage precinct Britomart is closing after 10 years.

The Nike store in Atrium on Takutai will shut at the end of this month. It was first opened in May 2011.

Bryan Eible, Nike Britomart franchise owner, confirmed the January 31 closure following the end of a 10-year lease with the brand.

The store will have an up to 50 per cent sale on everything at the store until its last day.

Commercial property investor and developer Cooper and Company, which owns the building and leased it, declined to comment.

But the Herald understands the decision related to an ongoing worldwide push by Nike to reduce its number of retail partners, rather than the pandemic.

Over recent years, the footwear giant has slashed the number of traditional retailers it sells its goods through, while shifting to grow directly through its own channels, especially online.

Eible said it felt like losing a precious gift when Nike told him that they were not going to be extending the franchise arrangement any longer.

Eible, 53, said he was the first person to open that store and it was a turning point in his career.

“When I turned 40 I got the Nike franchise that was my turning point in my career … just getting the opportunity to become a Nike partner, I was really proud of myself,” he said.

He was offered an opportunity to buy the Nike franchise in Britomart while he was part owner at The Department Store in Takapuna.

The Department Store also shut down in January 2020.

Eible said he loved the brand and he would carry Nike along with other similar brands when he opened up a new store in a few months’ time.

“I love Nike, and … [I’m] very thankful to have had that opportunity for the past 10 years with Nike” he said.

“My shoe collection is a big thing. I have got 750 pairs of shoes mainly Jordans and Dunks,” he said.

After the Nike franchise runs out, Eible said he would be starting another similar store but with more brands than just Nike and he was planning on retaining all three his staff members.

Eible moved to New Zealand in 2009 with his wife and his daughter from Florida, where he was an owner of a women’s clothing store called the Foxy Lady, which was founded by his mother about 40 years ago.

“She started it in 1972, and then I purchased it from her in 1999. And I owned it until I move to New Zealand in 2008,” he said.

Eible had been selling shoes since the age of 16 in the US for Robby’s Sporting Goods, now known as Champs Sports.

“I have retail in my blood,” he said.

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