With Amazon capturing national attention with the acquisition of Whole Foods Market, the e-Commerce giant managed to keep its potential new partnership with another high-profile brand — Nike — largely under the radar.
Nike will reportedly begin selling goods on Amazon, joining top competitors Under Armour and Adidas in opening storefronts on the site, according to Bloomberg. The move apparently is designed to curb knockoffs that are often sold on the site through third-party vendors — which has been an issue for Amazon in the past.
But to me this appears to go beyond the fight against counterfeiting. It shows that Nike realizes it has plenty of opportunity to gain share within yet another channel. In its latest quarterly earnings, the footwear/apparel giant revealed that international product orders declined for the first time since 2009, suggesting more buyers are going elsewhere to buy athletic apparel and footwear.
Nike has forged a strong direct-to-consumer (DTC) push, aiming to cut product creation cycle times in half and uniting its web site, stores and digital products under a single team called Nike Direct. The company’s DTC revenue increased 13% in Q3, driven by 18% growth in online sales, well above the company’s 5% growth in total revenue. With an emphasis on both DTC and Amazon sales, it’s clear that Nike believes that the more opportunities to reach the consumer, the better.
Other major brands, or even retailers, should look on this move as a reality…