In the global battle between Phil Knight and David Greenfield, Knight struck the first blow in Singapore, opening Nike's flagship store on March 11th of 2009.
But Greenfield is catching up. Elite Bicycles will open its own company store several blocks to the South of the Nike outlet. (We've attached directions allowing Mr. Knight to negotiate his way over to see the new competition).
Let us for a moment be serious. There's no real competition here. The companies aren't even in the same category. Elite Bicycles doesn't make shoes, so, Nike can breathe easy—for now.
Elite Bicycles Singapore is a company store, and, while other brands will be sold there, you won't find a headbadge other than The Big E on the showroom floor. The store will be run by two smart, energetic, F.I.S.T.-certified fitters by the names of Daphne Wee and Adeline Khoo. Each has hardened her business skills in the cauldron of New York City, as certified public accountants.
As an aside, these two comprised the bulk of the Slowtwitch on-site race coverage team during our live coverage of the 2009 New York City Triathlon.
Greenfield, Khoo and Wee are equal partners in the store. While it's the first company retail location, Greenfield says it's not the last. This, as well as any subsequent company store, will have proper fit studios, complete with motion capture systems. "Elite’s commitment to quality can also be witnessed through their detailed fitting process," according to Greenfield. "A single bike fitting will take about four hours."
Singapore is also, of course, the home of The Bike Boutique, sponsor of Team TBB. Will Elite's new company outlet put a serious dent in Australasia's juggernaut retail store? Don't bet against Ms. Wee and Ms. Khoo.
But one man can rest easy. As long as Elite's two bionic women have their attentions focused on carving a slice out of The Bike Boutique's market share, Mr. Knight can have the Singapore running shoe market to himself.