Executives with Nike confirmed their agreement to sell products directly through Amazon in a pilot program, in one fell swoop – or swoosh – greatly expanding Nike’s reach while also helping address the issue of rampant product counterfeiting.
The news is a direct hit to Nike’s retail partners like Finish Line and Foot Locker, who will undoubtedly lose sales to the ecommerce giant. Industry observers expect other major brands to follow suit by selling directly on Amazon.com.
Nike also announced on its fourth quarter earnings call with analysts that customers can begin buying its sports apparel products on Instagram, a move designed to reach the younger demographic wherever they shop.
“In the U.S., we’re executing a new pilot with Amazon with a limited Nike product assortment,” said Nike Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker. “As we do with all of our partners, we’re looking for ways to improve the Nike consumer experience on Amazon by elevating the way the brand is presented and increasing the quality of product storytelling.”
Parker said the pilot program is in the early stages, adding “we really look forward to evaluating the results.” He also said pilot covers a limited assortment across footwear, apparel and accessories. Executives would not say if that included the hugely popular Jordan line,…