Nike drops large wholesale customers

Nike Air Jordan sneakers
Photo: StopperOhana /

Nike discontinues its collaboration with a series of major retail partners in the United States: the sneaker brand is speeding up its direct sales strategy, aiming to reach consumers as much as possible. Partners in Europe may also be eliminated.


200 more own shops

Nike shoes will soon disappear from the shelves at Zappos, Dillard's and seven other American retail chains, according to an analyst report by Susquehanna Financial Group. Indeed, Nike confirms to Fox Business that it will focus even more on its "Consumer Direct Acceleration" strategy, with the sports label focusing on direct sales to consumers.


Three years ago, Nike already announced that it was going down that path, but the Air Jordan's producer is shifting up a gear after the corona crisis. Instead of wholesale, the brand will now focus on online sales (Nike Digital) and on its own shops. Nike plans to open another 200 smaller, high-tech shops in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


500 jobs cut

As a result of the reduced wholesale business, 500 jobs will also be lost at the company's American headquarters, although it will (for the time being) not close the wholesale channel completely: Nike says it will retain a smaller number of strategic partners "who share our vision to create a consistent, connected and modern shopping experience".


One such remnant is Foot Locker, which, according to Susquehanna, will benefit to a limited extent from its now more exclusive status. Whether a similar delisting action is taking place outside the United States is not yet known, but it is to be expected that Nike will look more closely at its wholesale partners everywhere.