Consumers will soon have access to a broad selection of Nike products in Macy’s stores, a first since the brand paused its apparel relationship with the retailer in 2021.
Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said in a call with analysts on Thursday that Nike products will return to Macy’s stores and websites in October. Nike wound down its apparel partnership with Macy’s in December 2021 as it narrowed in on its own DTC channels and cut off multiple wholesale partners.
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“We’re committing to a long term partnership together,” Gennette said in a call with analysts. “It’s one of the most important brands for our customer. We had lots of customers that were disappointed that we didn’t carry it over the past year.”
Nike’s footwear relationship with Macy’s via a Finish Line partnership had remained intact since 2021, but an expanded collection of men’s, women’s and kids apparel and accessories will become more available in stores and online this fall. Footwear will continue to be sold via the Finish Line partnership.
“This is going to be, we believe, a real catalyst without cannibalizing much else in the balance of the apparel assortments,” Gennette said. “This is a win for us. And we think it’s a win for Nike.”
The renewed partnership comes as Nike slowly returns to certain wholesale partnerships after a sudden exit in 2021. Foot Locker last year said the amount of Nike product in its stores would be significantly less as the Swoosh accelerated its shift towards DTC sales. But the retailer reversed track in March and said Nike would remain its key brand moving forward.
Recently, analysts have noted that Nike might need to reconsider its DTC and wholesale strategies as it looks to capture more demand in a variety of different channels.
“After shuttering Dillards, Belk, Macy’s, DSW and Shoe Show, and other moderate accounts, Nike realized that the moderate business was needed and Nike was not capable of effectively driving the moderate business through its own direct channels,” wrote Williams Trading analyst Sam Poser in a note to investors in late May. He added that Nike footwear could be reintroduced at DSW this holiday season. DSW declined to comment.
In June 2020, Nike rolled out its “Consumer Direct Acceleration” (CDA) program, which involves zeroing in on DTC and digital channels and pulling out of some wholesale channels. As part of this push, Nike terminated multiple partnerships with certain retailers and cut back on the amount of product it offered existing vendors in order to consolidate distribution in its own channels and certain preferred wholesale vendors, like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Hibbett Sports.
Overall, Macy’s Inc. reported top and bottom line declines in the first quarter and cut its guidance for the year. Net income for the quarter ended April 29 was $155 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, compared to $286 million, or $0.98 per share, in the year-ago period. Net sales of $5 billion were down 7 percent compared to $5.35 billion in the first quarter of 2022. Comparable sales were down 7.2 percent.
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