Earlier this year there were rumors that Nike would be cutting off Foot Locker and Champs from carrying their products as they feel they no longer need the middle man. Now it seems like that may just be the case, eventually, as Nike is partnering with Foot Locker rival JD Sports in an effort to expand their digitally connected marketplace.
According to Nike, this Fall the company will be collaborating with JD Sports and Zalando to cover more digital ground out in these internet streets as sneaker collecting and reselling continues to be a lucrative business. The move comes just one year after Nike partnered up with Dicks Sporting Goods for similar services.
Through these new partnerships, Nike Members can link their membership accounts with the accounts of two of Europe’s leading retailers. Benefits for shoppers include connected inventory, new digital experiences, and access to Nike Member Exclusive product. The connected partnership is a first between Nike and a European retailer.
JD is a UK based global omni-channel retailer with approximately 3,400 stores across 35 territories, including a strong presence in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. JD Connected partnership launches end of September in the UK on the JD App, with expansion plans across key EMEA countries and stores. Zalando is a leading European online platform for fashion and lifestyle based in Germany. Founded in Berlin it brings head-to-toe fashion to over 49 million active customers in 25 markets, offering clothing, footwear, accessories, and beauty. Connected partnership launches via the Zalando App and Web, starting in Austria in October, with further roll out to Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy and Poland.
Aw man. After cutting off their mom and pop connects just a few years ago, will Foot Locker be next on the chopping block now that Nike is going this route? What will Foot Locker look like with only adidas, Puma and Crocs on the shelves? Kanye West is basically already out the door which will definitely hurt the popularity that adidas has experienced over the last few years; imagine no Nike or Jordan products in those stores. Hopefully that doesn’t come to pass but according to Nike this will only lead to better relations with their diehard customers.
These partnerships further fuel Nike’s ambition to create the future marketplace of sport through meaningful relationships that serve and inspire sport lovers everywhere. A marketplace enhanced through digital, that deepens relationships between Nike and our consumers across all channels, including partners.
Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things play out going forward.
What do y’all think of Nike’s latest power move? Let us know in the comments section below.
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