This past September, I had the pleasure of visiting the Nike Employee Store for the first time ever. What is the Nike Employee Store, you ask? Well basically, it’s a normal Nike store, on steroids. You can expect a large variety of current (and past) season products, and everything can be purchased for a fraction of the retail price. You’ll get to shop the best of Nike products at employee pricing, which equates to 40-50% off your entire purchase! That’s a huge discount! And if that’s not enough to entice you, everything you buy is tax-free (at the Beaverton, OR location).
Lucky for us, my boyfriend scored two passes for us to visit last month, and let me tell you, it was quite the experience from the moment we stepped inside the front doors. In this post, I’ll dive into the entire shopping process, give you a taste of what to expect in the store, and show you what we scored on our shopping trip!
HOW TO GET INTO THE NIKE EMPLOYEE STORE – BEAVERTON, OR
Before you jump into your car and head over to your closest Nike Employee Store, there are a few things you need to know. There are actually only two Nike Company Stores in the United States. There is a location in Beaverton, OR and Memphis, TN. There’s also a pretty significant barrier to entry.
For those of you who don’t know, getting into the Nike Employee Store is like getting entry to an exclusive nightclub. An invitation is hard to come by. The bottom line is, you’ll have to be granted access by somebody who works for Nike or is affiliated with Nike.
If you are employed by Nike or any of its brands (Converse or Hurley) you can access the store an unlimited number of times by simply showing your work ID. Full-time employees are also able to add significant others and immediate family members to the entry list for unlimited visits. (See, I told you, it’s like the nightclub guest list.) However, if you don’t fall into this category, there may still be hope for you!
If you know someone who works for Nike, you may be in luck! Each year Nike gives its employees a set amount of extra passes to give away to their friends or acquaintances. To gain access to the Nike Company Store, all you need to do is ask your Nike-employed friend to add you to the list.
Don’t know a Nike employee? Ask a few of your friends to see if they know someone who knows someone.
To start the process, you’ll need to provide your full name and email address (where the Nike Guest Shopping Pass will be emailed to). Alternatively, the employee may give you a physical Nike Guest Pass which usually has an expiration date.
A few weeks before our planned trip, my boyfriend had reached out to his old coworker that still works at Nike. He requested two passes to visit the Nike Company Store in Beaverton, and luckily his friend still had some available. Score! After providing him with our names and email addresses, we received an email confirmation that we were all set up with access to visit the Nike Company Store from 9/19 – 9/21.
OTHER WAYS TO GET INTO THE NIKE EMPLOYEE STORE
If you don’t currently know a Nike employee, something else you could do is befriend a Nike employee. Obviously, you would want to do so for the friendship itself and not just the pass. I would NOT recommend bribing strangers who work for Nike, because selling passes is not allowed and they could get in a lot of trouble for that.
Another option is to be a vendor or an affiliate to Nike. A vendor is someone (a company, an individual, etc.) that sells something to Nike. This could be software, services, etc. As a vendor, you are usually offered a pass to the employee store, good for the day that you happen to be at the headquarters for a meeting.
Nike also sometimes offers special invitations to certain groups, organizations, or associations in Oregon. Most recently, I’ve seen invitations for groups like the Oregon Golf Association (OGA) or United States Tennis Association (USTA).
WELCOME TO THE NIKE EMPLOYEE STORE – WHAT TO EXPECT
First, what you’ll find when you get here is that the Nike Employee Store is near the Nike campus (Beaverton, OR location). You’ll park your car in the massive and free parking lot. As you approach the front door, you’ll be greeted by someone managing the door. He/she will check that you have the Nike Guest Shopping Pass, either printed out or displayed on your phone. Without this pass, there is no way you’re getting in.
He or she will also announce the item limit or the spending limit. I suspect this changes from time to time, but when we went, there was a purchase limit of 30 items or $3,000 prior to the discount per transaction / pass. What that means is if you’re with someone and you guys have 2 passes, you could technically buy 60 items, or $6,000 worth of stuff.
If this information isn’t announced, just ask any Nike team member on the floor. What I found was that all of the employees there are super friendly and will help in any way they can!
Upon entry, you’ll be greeted by another Nike employee who will check you in. At this point, you’ll need to show your ID. Photo ID MUST be provided for check-in. Once checked in, you’re free to head on in to get your shopping on! Don’t forget to grab a shopping cart if you plan on bringing a big haul home.
The great thing about the Nike Company Store is that the merchandise on the floor is mostly new and in-season, unlike other Nike factory stores or outlet stores where you’ll find mostly older stuff. You can get a really good idea of what might be in stock by simply checking out what’s for sale on the Nike website.
Okay, I know you guys are dying to know more. There’s something for everyone here at the Nike Company Store. There are sections for toddlers and kids, women’s apparel, men’s apparel, and shoes. In the women’s department, there are entire sections for Nike Yoga, Nike Running, Nike Golf, bras, athleisure/casual wear, plus sizes, and bags/accessories.
The men’s half of the store is equally as compartmentalized as the women’s section and includes additional sections for basketball and sporting goods as well. Everything here is so neatly organized and well-stocked! There were so many clothing styles that came in multiple colors and patterns.
As with any popular store, the earlier you arrive, the better chances you’ll have at snagging a size that you need.
In the footwear section, you’ll find rows and rows of shoes! The shoe sections are broken down by running, training, casual, basketball, etc. In terms of brands available for sale, you’ll be able to find variations of the Nike brand, Air Jordans, and even some Converse footwear.
There’s also a “hash wall” in the back worth checking out. This wall holds an assortment of shoes with green stickers, where some of the items are discounted even further.
Have questions about any of the shoes or need another size? There are lots of employees on the floor available to help you out with anything you need.
If you’re looking for new shoes, definitely take your time browsing! You’ll find all the signature stuff, as well as branded products from Lebron, Kyrie, Jordan, etc. These items are rarely at outlets or factory stores, so getting 40-50% off on these items is killer.
When you’re done shopping, head to the checkout area. Here, you’ll find rows and rows of registers. If you happen to be there in the afternoon, you may see a very dauntingly long line. Don’t worry, with all the active cashiers working, the line moves pretty fast.
Also note, when checking out, the total that initially shows up on the screen is before the discount is applied. The staff member will scan your pass for the discount after scanning all your items.
Three and a half hours later (yes, you read that right)… we were finally out of there! Thirsty, starving, and $800 poorer–but with a handful of brand new goods!
All in all, my items totaled up to $831. After the employee discount, I paid $498! My boyfriend’s total was $597 before the discount was applied. After the discount, he paid $358! Together, we had a savings of $570. And best of all, everything was tax-free, baby! Here’s a look at all the stuff we got:
Overall, shopping at the Nike employee store was a great experience. I think a lot of my experience had to do with the fact that we arrived early and had a belly full of coffee/breakfast pastries before diving headfirst into the shopping. Definitely arrive early for the best selection of products as well as to avoid the crowds and lines. Below are a few additional tips that might help you get the most out of your trip to the Nike Employee Store!
Can’t find a pass or can’t make it out to the Nike Employee Store? Shop online instead.
NIKE EMPLOYEE STORE – ESSENTIAL TIPS
- Get there early, especially on weekends. We arrived on a Saturday a few minutes after the store had opened and found the parking lot to be quite full already. The line to check out can also get a bit long.
- Nike employees get 50% off their entire purchase. Obviously, 50% off is better than 40% off (if you know a Nike employee), but the downside is you’ll need to drag a Nike employee along with you, and using their 50% off discount is technically against store policy. You decide for yourself.
- If you have a Nike Guest Shopping Pass (not accompanied by a Nike employee), you’ll get 40% off your entire purchase.
- Your guest pass is valid for one transaction only. Guest passes are non-transferable. The guest pass is not valid at Nike.com or any other Nike stores.
- The “pass” is really just being placed on a guest pass email list. You won’t need a physical guest pass.
- Refrain from wearing any competitor brands into the store. Converse and Hurley apparel is fine. Otherwise, you might chance not getting in (wearing competitor gear here is highly frowned upon).
- Expect to spend a few hours at the store, especially if you’re not from Oregon and are likely not going to get another opportunity to shop there for another few years. 40-50% is a great deal on in-season Nike gear, so embrace the discount to the fullest!
- The Nike Company Store is pretty big—it’s essentially the size of a super spacious warehouse or airplane hangar. Prioritize what you’re looking for and hit up sections in the order of your highest priority items.
- If you’re like me and it’s an absolute must to “try before you buy”, make sure you grab all the sizes you may need for the trip to the fitting room. As more and more people show up throughout the day, the common sizes will become unavailable quickly.
- During our trip to Nike Employee Store, I walked in and hit up the new Nike Yoga section first. Upon seeing so many new products with their new ‘Infinalon’ fabric technology, I was so stoked to have a Lululemon alternative. I immediately grabbed a few pairs of leggings in a size S, which fit decently, but was curious about what a size M would feel like. When I went back to grab a size M an hour later, I found that most of the sizes were all gone!
- If you’re shopping for other people, make sure you have their sizes ahead of time and know what they want before the day of your trip. You don’t want to be fumbling in there trying to shop for yourself, communicating through text, phone, or FaceTime, all the while trying to weave through throngs of other shoppers. It’ll just stress you out more than you need to be (You might already be stressed out by the sheer number of products offered in the store!).
- Bring water and snacks! Especially if you think you’re going to be shopping for a few hours. Shopping takes a lot of energy, seriously!
- After 3.5 hours of shopping with no water at all, we were dying of thirst. Learn from our lesson.
- During our visit, there was a limit of 30 items, or $3,000 spend, whichever you hit first. This may be subject to change.
- 30 items sounds like a lot, but at 40% off, it’s pretty easy to go overboard and buy everything in sight. Especially if you’re shopping for your family and friends! My advice is to have some self-control and only get what you will really use.
- My boyfriend knows of many people who have easily spent $1,000 in one trip.
- Change your mind about something you bought? If you need to return something, you can return your merchandise at any regular Nike store.
I hope this guide helps you prepare a bit more for your trip to the Nike Employee Store (Nike Company Store). Good luck and happy shopping!