Nike swoosh in with somewhere to ‘Just Do It’ in Croydon

Community groups Gloves Not Gunz, Croydon FM and the Brit School, plus patties from Marjays, have all played a part in the opening of the sports brand’s new store, reports CHERYL FERGUS-FERRELL

Swoosh-ing into Croydon: the Nike Unite store at Valley Retail Park which opened at the weekend. Pic: CFF

Since the flagship NikeTown store arrived at Oxford Circus 24 years ago, another five shops sporting the brash American swoosh logo have opened elsewhere around London. Even Bromley had a Nike outlet. Just not in Croydon.

Until, that is, last weekend, when Nike Unite had dozens of eager new customers queuing around the block waiting for the grand opening of its newest store at Valley Park.

The message of a community united through sport is at the core of the new store, which has already forged a link with Gloves Not Gunz, the Norbury-based anti-violence boxing club. For the opening they provided music all day from talented DJs from the Brit School, who got things warmed up on decks before handing over to the Croydon FM DJs who kept the vibes going until closing time with electric sets.

Staff from Nike stores around London were in attendance to help the day run smoothly. The new Croydon Nike store is employing about 40 staff, full- and part-time.

“Overall it has been an amazing experience so far, we had a good team to make sure everyone was civilised,” Jeremy Opoku, customer service lead, told Inside Croydon.

“The sun was shining, and everyone had a great shopping experience.”

Several customers told Opoku that they were pleased finally to have a Nike store in Croydon. Though, notably, like the recent opening of the M&S store on the Purley Way, Nike Unite is at the out-of-town, Valley Retail Park site (not far from Ikea), rather than in Croydon town centre.

Brash and bold: you’d expect nothing less from Nike

The store, with the obligatory “Just Do It” sloganising across the walls, offers an impressive range of from the Oregon company’s football, running, basketball, lifestyle sportswear, athletic training and women’s training range.

Customers said that they were keen to visit because they have come to know that they can expect top quality and a range of designs from the brand.

Images flashed across the screens next to the click-and-collect station, informing customers about the various community-based sports projects that Nike is sponsoring, which customers said is a nice touch to offer relevancy to the Croydon community.

Opoku said that in moving on from the pandemic, the public had shown a real desire to get back to the in-person shopping experience that walking into the store provides.

“It’s a whole different experience, not only being able to try on the clothes but it really helps the customer visualise a whole new style for themselves,” he said.

Anyone on Saturday who spent more than £50 received a token for food from Croydon-based restaurant Marjays, with a stall right outside the store offering Caribbean patties.

It only added to the positive atmosphere as customers gathered in the sunshine to eat, drink and chat about what the new store had to offer.

Becky Birchall, one of the Croydon FM DJs at the opening, said: “I think Nike nailed the concept of bringing in and including the local community and they seemed to have a good understanding of the Croydon culture.

“It’s always been on my bucket list to DJ for Nike, and what a way to do it with Croydon FM.”

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at
  • As featured on Google News Showcase
  • Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Business, Nike Unite, Valley Park and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply