On Monday, Nike’s executive leadership discussed the future of its wholesale and direct-to-consumer business on the company’s earnings call for the third quarter of the 2022 fiscal year.
Nike CEO John Donahoe set the record straight on Nike’s relationship with Foot Locker, saying the retailer will continue to stock its product.
“One other thing I just want to really reinforce because I think there was some confusion on this, that’s around Foot Locker,” Donahoe said. “To be crystal clear, Foot Locker always has been and always will be a large and important partner of Nike’s, and that will continue to be the case. And they’ll have a very distinct role in our marketplace strategy as a wholesaler, with a particular focus on the culture of basketball, on the sneaker culture and on kids, which is a really big and important opportunity for us. So just to be clear, they are one of our important partners going forward.”
His comment comes after erroneous reports earlier this month from outlets like Forbes and Sneaker News that Nike was pulling all of its stock from Foot Locker. Instead, it was reported that the retail chain reportedly took a massive financial hit after it confirmed that it will not be selling as many Nike products this year.
“We have a great relationship with Nike,” Foot Locker executive vice president and chief commercial officer Andrew Gray tells Complex. “As we look towards the future together, we continue to see opportunities to build our basketball and kids businesses all while creating closer connections with sneaker-obsessed consumers all over the world.”
Back in 2017, Nike signaled that it had plans to be more selective about which wholesale accounts would be carrying its product in the future. Since then, Nike has terminated its relationship with a handful of independent sneaker retailers, but Foot Locker will remain an important partner to the brand moving forward. On Monday’s earnings call, Nike CFO Matt Friend gave an update on the extent of its wholesale operation, explaining how much it had cut out retail partners.
“Over the past four years, we have reduced the number of wholesale accounts worldwide by more than 50 percent,” Friend said on the call.