Nike and Dick’s Sporting Goods combine loyalty programs

Nike sportswear is featured on mannequins displayed at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Daly City, California.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Nike and Dick’s Sporting Goods are stepping up their collaboration efforts at a time when a number of sportswear brands, including Nike, are relying less on wholesale partners.

The companies announced on Wednesday that the first phase of Nike’s loyalty program will be linked to Dick’s membership offer to allow customers to shop for exclusive Nike footwear and apparel on Dick’s website.

The partnership will evolve over time to include personal training at Dick’s offices. And the two hinted at another benefit that could emerge: allowing Nike customers to submit their returns or pick up online orders at Dick’s stores.

For Nike, the move reinforces sneaker giant Diku’s commitment amid industry turmoil.

Nike, along with competitors such as Under Armor and Adidas, is actively pulling goods from wholesale channels, including discount stores and other shoe retailers, in order to sell more items directly to buyers at higher prices. It is also an attempt to forge closer relationships with consumers and better understand what kind of products they want.

Nike does not limit sales to specific wholesale partners such as Dick’s, Foot Locker, or Nordstrom. Wholesale revenues accounted for 61% of Nike’s total sales in fiscal 2021, up from 65% in the previous year, according to the latest annual report. The remainder of the transactions took place in Nike stores or on its website, which is a growing part of the sneaker manufacturer’s business.

But Nike continues to focus on key retail partners.

“We have a very diverse consumer base at Nike, and we need to be able to serve this diverse consumer group,” said Sarah Mensah, vice president and general manager of Nike’s North America business. “We truly believe that he represents the future of retail … and that’s really what partnerships mean – to the next level.”

Meanwhile, Dick’s is stepping up investments in its own brands. In March, she launched her own menswear line for sports called VRST. The company has joined the largest private label in terms of sales, the women’s brand Calia. In 2020, Dick’s own brand sales increased by $ 1.3 billion from $ 9.58 billion in total revenues.

But he still has close ties to Nike, a brand he has worked with for nearly half a century. According to Dick’s latest annual reports, Nike was the company’s largest supplier in 2020, accounting for about 19% of its merchandise purchases.

“You’ve seen brands very loudly announce their exit from a certain distribution that prevents their brand from being realized in the best possible way,” said Dick CEO Lauren Hobart. “But Nike and our other partners understand you need to have a physical footprint.”

The connection will also allow Dick to access more of Nike’s popular sneakers, Hobart said, not just athletic shoes. The company hopes that consumers will see it as a place to buy the latest equipment as it expects monthly “releases” of new products.

“This will open up a whole new level for us,” she said. “This will continue to make Dick’s some of the best shoes on the market … We are now partnering with Nike on this long-term roadmap.”

At the newly opened House of Sports in Rochester, NY, a suburb of Victor, Dick’s provided Nike with a huge space to showcase its products. At this location, as well as another House of Sport store in Knoxville, Tennessee, Dick plans to host some of his first in-person events for Nike members.

Dick’s shares are up about 120% since the beginning of the year. Nike is up 18%.

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