Nike will stop selling its products through Amazon and instead focus on what it calls “more direct and personal relationships” with customers, company officials said Tuesday.
Anyone looking for Nike can still shop for items on the company’s website, app, or at one of the thousands of physical stores where Nike has retail partnerships. The Nike-Amazon partnership was a pilot program that began more than two years ago and is no longer part of Nike’s broader sales strategy, company officials said.
“We will continue to invest in strong and distinctive partnerships for Nike with other retailers and platforms to seamlessly serve our consumers around the world,” Nike confirmed.
Amazon officials declined to comment on Nike’s departure on Wednesday. Competitors Nike Under Armor and Adidas continue to sell products on Amazon. Nike officials said they will continue to use Amazon web hosting to power Nike’s website and many of its apps.
The Nike-Amazon split comes a month after the sportswear and equipment company named John Donahoe its new CEO. Donahoe, the former CEO of eBay, succeeds the departure of Nike CEO Mark Parker on January 13.
An analyst following Nike said counterfeit goods may have played a role in Nike’s decision to leave Amazon.
“I think Nike is putting more emphasis on its own online business, as evidenced by the news that its new CEO is a former CEO of eBay,” Morningstar analyst David Swartz said. “Also, Nike was probably upset that Amazon didn’t get rid of third-party sellers and counterfeits.”
In its latest earnings report for September, Nike reported revenue of $10.2 billion in the three months ended Aug. 31, up about 7% from the reporting period. last year. Officials said the sales surge was largely due to Nike Direct, the arm of the company that oversees Nike.com, direct-to-consumer sales and Nike+ digital.
The Nike-Amazon deal began in June 2017 to “create new ways to serve consumers,” CEO Parker told investors at the time. The deal allowed Nike, one of the world’s most recognized sportswear brands, to sell its footwear, apparel and accessories on the United States’ largest online retailer.